Imagine how difficult and fearsome it is for visually impaired individuals to live alone. Theres no one to protect and no one to assist them in times of emergency. But fortunately, this isn’t the case with Maria.   

Maria Colon is a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who lives with her dog named Yolanda. Considered as legally blind, Maria struggles hard with her vision and has difficulty moving around. One very good thing though, she had with her a consistent and dependable companion, a trained service dog. 

Photo credit: Honest to Paws

Yolanda is a Labrador specifically trained to be an ideal companion of people with physical challenges such as those with visual impairments. As a service dog, she has proven herself to be a very reliable assistant to Maria many times. The most recent one was when a fire broke down. 

In the middle of the night, Maria woke up to the smell of by then their burning house. Luckily, she was able to get out of the house and responders came to help.  But with her condition, how was she able to call for help and get out of the house with only a little to no injury at all? 

Photo credit: Honest to Paws

Maria’s safety was all thanks to her reliable service dog Yolanda. She was able to respond to her special training word “danger”. When prompted by her owner, she immediately dialed 911 in a specialized telephone dial pad. After that, she also managed to assist her in escaping the dangerous area 

In some previous instances, Yolanda, without fail, was able to effectively act in response to the intrusion of unknown men inside their home. A year after, she also called for emergency help when Maria accidentally slipped and lost her consciousness.  

Truly, having a service dog like Yolanda can make a significant difference in the lives of disabled individuals.  

Thanks to Honest to Paws for sharing with us this story.


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