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Disability Action Center NW

Update on N Idaho Veteran’s Second Chance at a Guide Dog

KREM 2 News

SANDPOINT, Idaho —  A disabled veteran in Idaho is getting a second chance with a service dog next week after his first one was taken back because of unrestrained dogs in the neighborhood.

Former Army Ranger Bill Yeager had no problem holding his own back in the day. Now though, he needs some help getting around. A stroke nearly three years ago robbed Yeager of his vision and his ability to speak clearly. So his friend, Cecelia Myers started calling guide dog companies with the hope of getting Yeager a companion.

A company from California brought up a guide dog to trial run with Yeager, so to speak. However, Myers said she got word from the company that it was not working out.

“The guide just  called up and he said I’m ready, I have to take the dog away,” she said.

The company said that several loose dogs in the apartment complex and the neighborhood charged at Yeager and his dog posing a threat.

“It was very frustrating. Bill was devastated,” Myers said.

So Yeager was back at square one. No service dog and still looking for a way to easily get around this neighborhood. Luckily, Sandpoint Police stepped up their efforts of leash laws in the area. At some point, he received a letter from a different guide dog company saying he would be getting a new dog.

Yeager is already anxious to meet his new friend. A trainer from the company, which is based in Michigan, will be bringing the dog this weekend. The two still have to form a bond, though.

“This is his last chance at a service dog,” Myers said.

To that, Myers wants people to know that if you see Yeager and his new dog walking — give them space. It is important that the dog does not become distracted or attacked by another dog, for matter. This is a veteran who deserves a friend now, more than ever.

“A great dog for a great guy who has served his country for a long time,” she said.