The Calimesa Breakfast Lions Club is proud to support Guide Dogs of the Desert International (GDDI) with an annual financial
donation and many hours of volunteer time.
Guide Dogs of the Desert was founded in 1972 by Mr. Lafayette "Bud" Maynard. Mr. Maynard trained students one at a time
from his home. With the help of the Cathedral City Lions Club, Guide Dogs was incorporated and licensed under California State
Law and the Department of Consumer Affairs. There are now over 150 dog teams residing across North America who graduated from
Guide Dogs of the Desert.
Guide Dogs of the Desert International through-out its history has accepted the elderly and the multiply handicapped
as its primary focus, providing customized training for each dog and student. All services including the guide dog, in-house
training, and post-graduate assistance are provided at NO COST to the blind recipients.
Puppies are born in our nursery and then when they reach eight weeks of age they are sent to volunteer puppy raiser families
for 18-22 months of love, socialization and basic obedience skills. When the puppies return to the Guide Dog campus, they
receive six months of concentrated guide dog training. Meanwhile, prospective students undergo a through assessment process
to determine the exact needs and demands that will be placed on the guide dog. Each dog is hand-selected for the specific
student with which it will be teamed. Each dog is finish trained for two weeks prior to the blind student arriving for classes
at the school.
The students receiving a new guide dog receive 28 days of training at the Guide Dog campus in Whitewater, California.
Each student and their dog are taught to work safely as a guide dog team through an intensive program, with structured
activities that take place on the streets of Palm Springs, Banning, Redlands, San Diego and other locales - including Disneyland!
The objective is to expose each team to every possible situation or environment that they may encounter once they return
to their home communities and the normal activities of daily living.
Guide Dogs of the Desert International is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization funded solely through charitable donations.
GDDI receives no local, state or federal government funding. Financial support and volunteers are always welcome.
Guide Dogs of the Desert International
P.O. Box 1692
Palm Springs, CA 92263