Zachary Steinbeiser is eight years old and all he’s wanted his whole little life is a dog to be his best friend. In December, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and another group called The Seeing Eye came together to make this little boy’s dream come true.
Zachary was born with a neural tube defect, which impaired his brain’s development. He is autistic and suffers from ADHD and epilepsy, and having Whitley around will greatly improve his life.
The Steinbeiser family was invited to go out to the Seeing Eye in Morristown, Pennsylvania from their home in Lansdale. This is where Zachary and Whitley first met. Whitley is a two-year-old Lab/golden retriever mix, and he newest member of their family.
“We’re pleased to be able to match the Steinbeiser family with a bright-eyed, furry new addition to their home,” Seeing Eye Director of Canine Development Peggy Gibbon said. “Whitley is an exceptionally sweet and loving dog who will give Zachary many years of friendship and devotion.”
Dogs that end up training at Seeing Eye are held to the highest of standards. This is a very important job these dogs do, and just like with all things, not every dog makes the cut. Whitley may not have made the best Seeing Eye dog for a blind person, but was just what the doctor ordered for Zachary. Many of the dogs that Seeing Eye takes end up as what they call “career change” dogs. They’re not suited to the rigors of a full blown service dog, but very suited to be a special best friend to those that need one.