Every dog has its day ...

Melvin Smith pets his dog, Skyler, Friday at the Missouri Council of the Blind Convention at Capitol Plaza Hotel. Skyler is a 20-month-old trained yellow lab that has been with Smith for several months. The guide dog was trained in the state of California and is still adjusting to Missouri’s noises and smells. Smith is a member of the Missouri Guide Dog Users and attended the annual convention.

Melvin Smith pets his dog, Skyler, Friday at the Missouri Council of the Blind Convention at Capitol Plaza Hotel. Skyler is a 20-month-old trained yellow lab that has been with Smith for several months. The guide dog was trained in the state of California and is still adjusting to Missouri’s noises and smells. Smith is a member of the Missouri Guide Dog Users and attended the annual convention.

A simple whisper into the golden retriever’s ear and a pat on the head was all he needed from his handler, Gretchen Maune, to know he should lie down and behave.

The duo attended the Missouri Guide Dog Users’ annual breakfast business meeting Friday morning at Capitol Plaza Hotel. The meeting was part of The Missouri Council of the Blind Convention.

On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon proclaimed Guide Dog Day in the state, as he did in 2011.

Friday’s meeting was not only business, said MGDU President Nick Whitney. It was also a chance for handlers and their guide dogs to celebrate the proclaimed holiday.

“This is their day,” Whitney said. “They’re our whole lives.”

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