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Weekly Speaker Program

March 18, 2019: Armstrong the Guide Dog with Bill Faulkner, “He is my four legged soulmate.”

Gerry Meek introduced Bill Faulkner. Bill is a former member of this club who left us about 20 years ago as his eyesight started deteriorating. Bill is now functionally (clinically?) blind and has a companion seeing-eye dog called Armstrong.

He does a great deal of school visits and community work and travels extensively, including air travel with Armstrong.

Bill is married to Martha, daughter of past president of our club, DG Don Novinger. Bill talked about his experiences with Armstrong, his guide dog companion.

Bill highlighted his experience in trying to locate a guide dog and the process involved. He mentioned that “Guide Dogs for the Blind” is an American organization that provides dogs free, even to Canadians, and is centred in Boring (yes, that’s the name), Oregon.

He talked about the boot camp he attended; the bonding experiences; the wonderful synergy between him and Armstrong; how helpful and easy it has made his life, and what work he does around the community, the 115 commercial flights they have taken together; some of their experiences with the community, at schools, baseball games, with his neighbours and with the public at large.

Bill has a tremendous sense of humour and has the ability to engage a crowd with ease. He answered some questions, and even showed us how Armstrong helps him navigate through difficult passages by walking with him around the room.

Drew Turnbull thanked Bill and Armstrong, and presented Bill with our world-famous Boltman.

Bill Faulkner with Armstrong the Guide Dog
Bill Faulkner with Armstrong the Guide Dog

reported by Altius

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