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A Cool Story For All Of You

Sailor Girl

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hey all. I got this the other day, and althoughit has to do with the school my guide dog came frm, overall i was just so touched, I thought you woud like to read this. I had to copy this, so if it doesn'tlook right, forgive me in advance.

St. Patrick's Day was a very special day here at The Seeing Eye. The newspaper

article pasted below tells the story of how a little girl named Maggie Deely

visited our school on Monday, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Any day now,

the "M" litter of Seeing Eye pups is due to be born, and one of those Labrador

puppies will be named "Maggie" in honor of our special visitor.


girl's dream: To provide comfort to others

by Robert E. Williams III, the

Newark Star Ledger, Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maggie Deely raised her arm

slightly in the air at the Seeing Eye kennels in Morris Township, as she

commanded a black Labrador retriever named Homer to sit.

After the dog

followed the 9-year-old's first command, the Centreville, Va., resident pointed

her finger to the ground and commanded the dog to lay.

Homer obliged.

"Hey, I think we got a trainer," said specialized dog instructor Kris

Sutton to Maggie and her family during their tour of the Seeing Eye in Morris

Township, a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to assist blind people.

Maggie's visit to the facility was part of a trip coordinated by the

Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that coordinates the wishes of children

with life-threatening illnesses.

Maggie arrived at the facility Monday

dressed for St. Patrick's Day -- dressed all in green with green Mardi Gras

beads around her neck, a crown decorated with green and silver tinsel on her

head, and a green shirt that read, "Everybody loves an Irish girl."


was shortly before St. Patrick's Day last year when Maggie was diagnosed with

craniopharyngioma, an illness causing a brain tumor that affects the pituitary

gland and its functions.

Maggie was treated at Children's Hospital

Boston, where pediatric neurosurgeon Michael Scott in April removed a portion of

the tumor that was as big as two thumbs laid side by side.

After the

surgery, her doctor used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor the growth

of the remaining portion of the tumor. Maggie also meets with an endocrinologist

to manage the impact of the tumor on her pituitary gland, which influences her

growth and hormonal development.

Maggie told the foundation about her

wish to explore a career working with animals after she observed her third-grade

class president with a companion dog named Mercer, a black Labrador retriever.

"I thought it would be lots of fun, and it was," said Maggie, who wore a

Make-A-Wish Foundation button on her shirt.

The foundation has become

well-known for arranging high-profile experiences for children. Some wishes

involved meeting a celebrity, going to a hard-to-access sporting event or

undergoing an experience related to a child's interest.


Davenport, a spokeswoman for the Seeing Eye, said visits to the facility as part

of a wish are rare.

"Instead of going to Disneyland, she wanted to do

this," said her father, Tim Deely, who accompanied his daughter and rest of his

family along South Street during Maggie's training yesterday. "She surprises us

all the time."

Maggie and her family -- including her mother Cathy, her

sister, 13-year-old Brigid, and brothers Brian, 12, and Kevin, 11 -- took a

train from their home in Virginia on Sunday. They ate lunch at the Seeing Eye

and toured the kennels where German shepherds and retrievers played with

trainers as the family looked on.

The family was later escorted by van

to the statue of Seeing Eye dog founder Morris Frank and a Seeing Eye dog at the

Green across the street from the Century 21 department store, where they met

with trainer Jim Kessler and his dog, Vixen.

After some instruction,

Maggie grabbed the reins of the yellow Labrador retriever and worked with

Kessler, teaching the dog to signal when it was okay to move forward.

Maggie may be young, but she's no rookie when it comes to training dogs.

This summer, she began training a mixed Labrador puppy named Gillian for Canine

Companions for Independence, a Long Island-based organization that trains dogs

to assist people with disabilities.

"I like it because some day it will

pay off and she will do a really good job, and make someone happy," said Maggie

of her experience training Gillian.

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This wasn't even sad and I still cried lol. That's such a sweet story. =) What an awesome decision for the girl to make, I bet she'll do well at it.

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I have to follow Mandie's lead on this one. Though I have no tears left it hits home. It's a shame that more fully capable people aren't involved with this.

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