On St. Patrick’s Day, a guide dog embedded his name in history. What did he do? He was part of a marathon as a guide dog for his owner, Thomas Panek.
Thomas is blind because of a genetic condition known as retinitis pigmetosa. He loves to run, and although he has gone blind, his body was still yearning to run. His blindness didn’t stop him. So he put up a nonprofit group that helps runners like himself by giving them guide dogs.
Aside from being able to help himself, he has also been able to help other runners who cannot see. The guide dogs are trained to help runners still do what they do without running into any obstacles. They also help the runners find their way through the routes.
Thomas’ work has allowed him to join many races. He has run in Chicago and in Boston. The recent Half Marathon held in New York City was where he ran with Gus, his guide dog. The duo trained and trained to prepare.
Gus was not the only guide dog that Thomas had during the marathon. He was joined by Waffle and Westley, two other guide dogs. They were all registered as competitors.
To help Thomas finish the race, the dogs had to take turns. The first leg was led by Westley. Waffle took the second leg. Gus had the last. They had to take turns so that they would not be fatigued by the entire length that they have to run.
Thomas is quite happy with the outcome. He says that he is satisfied with how things are going. Running has been his life and thanks to Gus, he can continue doing that despite being blind. This definitely shows us that whatever obstacles may be on our path, if we are determined, we can hurdle over them.