Today’s episode is with John @blindcowboy, the dogdad to Thor, a guide dog trained to compete in obstacle course racing, or OCR, and endurance trail running. Trained and raised by Guiding Eyes For the Blind @guidingeyes in their running program, Thor is the only guide dog of his kind.
Using a custom made harness from Ruffwear, Thor guides John through OCRs such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and others. In the past year, John and Thor have completed 10 races of varying distances, including a Spartan Ultra which is 31.2 miles or 50k in distance. Together with his wife, John has traveled all over the country competing in various races.
When not racing, John and Thor like to visit some of the local places around their home in Kentucky. Some of their favorites include the Pinnacles near Berea, Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve, Cave Run Lake, and Red River Gorge Geological Area, all located in Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky. Red River Gorge Geological Area is about 29,000 acres with more than 100 natural bridges and sandstone arches!
Besides the custom made Ruffwear harnesses that John has used with Thor, they also occasionally use Ruffwear boots and sock to protect Thor’s paws while on course.
John’s shout outs go to his wife, who also races and has been on course for John and Thor, and his friend Bill McConahy, who not only races but also helps to guide John and help with Thor. Julie Albany is the volunteer raiser who raised Thor. Corn Fed Spartans @cornfedspartans is the OCR team John and Thor belong to. For their equipment, John uses Ruffwear, Bombsquad, and Team Moo. Teddy and Friends Dog Boarding is John and Thor’s sponsor.
And of course, a huge shout out from both John and myself to everyone at Guiding Eyes for the Blind @guidingeyes for putting John and Thor together and helping other visually impaired people to live independent lives as well as growing the awesome dog community.
Thanks for listening!