Karl was registered blind on the 19th November 2009 after an accident whilst working. Karl’s Career as an Electrical Engineer ended with his accident, there’s not much call for a blind electrical engineer.
Karl spent six months at home hardly leaving his home except when a member of his family guided him. After six months Karl was taught to use a long white cane and regained some of his independence. After a few months Karl found out about the need for a sound generator on hybrid cars after twice landing on the bonnet of a hybrid car. Karl’s family applied to Guide Dogs for an assistance dog and the rest is history as the saying goes.
Guide Dogs arranged for Karl to be assessed for his needs, speed of walking, type of work, amount of work. Once this was completed, an advanced Guide Dog Trainer arranged an home visit to begin the matching process.
Karl was extremely lucky to be matched after just a few months Karl was introduced to a German Shepard and Black Retriever Cross named Quasia. After a short practice walk, Karl was booked onto a training course in Shrewsbury.
Two weeks spent in a hotel with Quasia, learning how to look after her and how to work with her for each others best safety. Then another two weeks at home with route training and the partnership really got started.
On the 13th December 2010 Karl and Quasia were signed off as a working partnership with Guide Dogs. As their partnership developed Karl has regained a lot of freedom and confidence that was taken along with his vision. They have travelled together by train, bus and plane.
Karl as become a speaker for guide Dogs talking to schools, groups and even veterans groups. He has become a Co-ordinator for a Guide Dogs Fund Raising group.
Quasia has given Karl the freedom to resume his life and also help make a difference in other people’s lives.
Karl and Quasia can often be seen walking routes in and around Dudley. Karl and his family along with Quasia can often be seen visiting Dudley Zoo and Castle.
Karl has since regaining his confidence started raising awareness of the work of Guide Dogs. He campaigns for disability rights and free movement for all. Karl and Quasia can often be seen raising funds for Guide Dogs and their work.
Karl took part in a blind Shark dive to raise funds for Guide Dogs at the Blue Plant Aquarium in Chester and prove a point that blind people can do most things that sighted people can. Karl got to enter the water with 10 foot Tiger Sharks.
Quasia was born on 7th April 2009, her mother was a German Shepard named Willow and father Huckaby. She was the only female out of a litter of Seven. At six weeks old Quasia was sent to a Puppy walker named Wendy who lives in Northamptonshire.
Wendy and Quasia attended a puppy walking class once a month besides going to all the normal places people go, Supermarkets shops, Pubs and even holidays.
In October 2009 Quasia was sent for Basic Training at Guide Dogs to learn basic harness work and more commands.
In February 2010 Quasia was sent to Shrewsbury Mobility Centre for advanced training with a view to being matched for work.
On the18th October 2010 Karl and Quasia were introduced and matched for training.
15th November 2010 Karl went to a hotel in Shrewsbury for two weeks of Training to learn how to care and work with Quasia. After two weeks Karl returned home complete with Quasia and another two weeks of home training including routes and safe walking.
On the 13th December 2010 Karl and Quasia were signed off from the training course to begin their new life together.