Blind woman's guide dog takes competition, helps others

ENUMCLAW, Wash. - The annual Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show is always a competitive test of canine obedience. But this year an Enumclaw woman is showing it's also about teamwork and trust.

Janine Prindle and her dog Cranberry are proving you don't have to see to share a vision.

"I have no peripheral vision. I have about a 15- to 18-degree field of vision," says Janine.

She has retinopathy and has been legally blind since 2006. But it doesn't stop her from competing in dog obedience shows.

Cranberry may be the guide outside of competition, but on this day Team 1508 swaps the roles of leader and guide.

Following each command, Cranberry stops, walks, jumps - she does it all. She's one of the only guide dogs to hold the prestigious "utility" title.

But on this day not all goes as planned. Cranberry missed a jump, falling short of the more selective "versatility" title.

The distinction would still fit well outside of competition, however. When Cranberry is not jumping hurdles she's helping others clear theirs.

"Besides being a guide dog and an obedience dog she's a therapy dog," says Janine's husband Jack.

From schools to homes for the elderly, Cranberry listens to children as they learn to read and is a companion for Alzheimer's patients who may not have anybody else.

She's a true companion in every sense of the word - helping others see their way through life's course.

Cranberry will compete in another event Sunday but Janine says it will be one of her last competitions before the dog retires.