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San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

London, Canada
Level Contributor
87 posts
21 reviews
San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

We will be in San Fran for the weekend of Aug 13-16 and saw an interesting note about tours in an AAA Tourbook at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. Has anyone ever done this and can you describe it? How much time is needed, etc. We would like to go to a tour at 10:30am on Mon Aug 16th before heading back to LA. Our family are dog lovers and would like to do something different from the usual "tourist" items... Any hints/tips greatly appreciated. Thanks.

California
Destination Expert
for Berkeley
Level Contributor
6,058 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

Sorry, I wish I had the slightest clue! I work in San Rafael and see the trainers out and about, but I've never been to the facility (just past it). It would certainly be a unique experience, but unless AnnMV or somebody on the San Francisco forum is knowledgeable, your best bet will be contacting them directly.

After the tour, you have some lunch options nearby. Northgate is a few blocks north of the facility and has typical shopping center fare. I recommend heading to downtown (a short drive south) to eat along 4th Street. Sol Food is a popular Puetro Rican restaurant to consider, and there are other good options to suit your fancy.

And please, if you take the tour, do report back with your experience!

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,578 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

I am looking at the same AAA description. As for time, note that it says 1 hour minimum" but there are other things to see, including a video presentation

See if this website gives more information.

http://tinyurl.com/2awzjqv

I think you have convinced a relative "local" to look into this. We have a good friend who is blind and have known her blind dogs over the years. I am really interested.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,578 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

Sheesh.......not "blind" dogs...."seeing eye dogs". <blushing over the stupidity>

London, Canada
Level Contributor
87 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

Thanks for the info Davdaven---since we will be there in the morning, we will be needing a spot for lunch so the recommendation is great (although we will stay away from the Mall food). And so glad to inspire a "local" to get involved in their own community.. I will report back once we have gone.. Planning to be there on Monday, Aug 16th.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
87 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

Well, we took the tour and it was great! Highly recommended for dog lovers but especially Lab Retriever afficianandos. We were unable to see the movie portion of the tour due to meetings taking place but Brian our tour guide led us to a lovely spot on the grounds. He gave us the overview of the operations, etc. It was somewhat distracting listening though as 7 week old puppies were being walked/socialized by numerous volunteers just behind him!

It was then off to the kennels. Since it was "intake day" for new arrival dogs, it was much more noisy than usual (or so we were told). Guide Dogs for the Blind is a very large operation. You can see how much thought and dedication is put into how things are done. Of course the highlight was seeing the puppies playing and meeting a few of them face to face (or should I say nose to nose!). My 10yr old son mentioned to me at one point, "I know where I want to work when I'm older". Too bad we live thousands of miles away as this a place I would love to get involved with on a more regular basis.. Thanks--highly recommended.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,578 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

Thank you so much for the report......will have to arrange to go there ourselves. We have known personally three guide dogs who helped a friend of ours and I am fascinated on how they train them.

7. Re: San Rafael-Guide Dogs for the Blind (Tours info)

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