[Image: The Vision Guide Dogs logo features a winding road with a guide dog standing in the center and "Vision Guide Dogs" printed in the upper-right corner. Next to the logo it reads "Navigate the World."]

Love Guides the Way

[Image: Chocolate Labrador retriever puppy with a sign around his neck that reads, "I Love You," with digital hearts in the background.]

Happy Valentine's Day (almost) to our incredible supporters! Our hearts are full today and everyday because of you. This month we have exciting news to share. Guide dog-in-training Zola was recently assessed for advanced training and deemed ready to begin. In this next phase, she continues her journey to become a guide dog as she works with our Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI), Mark, to learn how to safely guide an individual who is blind or visually impaired. We adore you all for helping us make this possible!

With spring just around the corner, we are gearing up for another fun-filled, event-packed season. We hope to see your beautiful faces at some of these events!

Photo Album

[Image: VGD guide dog Zuke napping during an art workshop facilitated by his owner, artist John Bramblitt.]

[Image: VGD guide dog Zuke rests his head on the back of Eagle, John Bramblitt's retired guide dog. Both dogs are lying down on a beige-colored carpet.]

[Image: Chicken N Pickle San Antonio team member presents a check as a result of the Give Back Night they hosted for us to two VGD Board Members and our GDMI. Guide dog-in-training Zola is in a down-stay position.]

[Image: GDMI Mark Hartridge doing sidewalk work with guide dog-in-training Zola.]

Note of Appreciation

[Image: Gift tag with torn edges and twine attached which reads, "Thank You SVP San Antonio." It is set against a blue background with white flowers and blue butterflies.]

For those of us working in the nonprofit space, we realize there has never been a more true statement than the cliche, "It takes a village." We could not do what we do without immense community support. VGD is proud to have amassed a village that includes individuals, local businesses, other nonprofit organizations, and more. This month, we'd like to express our gratitude to a particular local network of partners: Social Venture Partners San Antonio (SVPSA).

SVPSA, our team at VGD thanks you for sponsoring a year of Catchafire's services. Catchafire's virtual volunteering network will be an enormous help to us on various project-based work we conduct in areas such as marketing, web development, operations, strategy, and so much more! In addition, having the opportunity to consult with professionals to brainstorm ideas, receive feedback, and get answers to challenging questions will be an invaluable resource. We appreciate your generosity and the support you have provided to Vision Guide Dogs, allowing us to carry out our mission in a more efficient and well-informed way!

Events & Information

[Image: Chicken n Pickle logo with images of a hen, pickleball paddle, and ball in the center and beneath it reads, "Pickleball Headquarters."]

VGD Top Dog Pickleball Tournament

Join us for a fun afternoon of pickleball in support of a great cause! All skill levels are welcome to participate. To register your two-person team, click on the button below. You will have the opportunity to purchase our 2024 Fiesta San Antonio official medal at the event as well ($10/medal). Proceeds support our mission.

Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024

Time: 4PM - 7PM

Registration Fee: $60/team (2-person team)


Chicken N Pickle

5215 UTSA Blvd.

San Antonio, TX 78249

Who will be VGD's 2024 Top Pickleball Dogs? To register:


[Image: Sneak peak at the VGD 2024 Fiesta San Antonio Official Medal designed to look like a Lotería game card. The medal features guide dog Zuke in a sit-stay position with the words, "El Perro Guía" (guide dog) along the bottom, the number "1" in the upper-left corner, and the year "2024" along the left side. The attached ribbon has the VGD logo. The Fiesta medal is placed in the center of a piece of cream-colored paper surrounded by images of Lotería game cards.]

2024 Fiesta Medal Extravaganza

It's almost Fiesta time! Are you an avid Fiesta medal collector or do you have a desire to start collecting? Monarch Trophy Studio will be hosting this festive event where you will have the opportunity to buy, sell, and trade Fiesta medals. Come visit the Vision Guide Dogs booth to say hello and purchase one of our 2024 Fiesta San Antonio official medals ($10/medal). This year's medal celebrates San Antonio's rich Hispanic heritage and the placement of Zuke, our very first guide dog, with artist John Bramblitt. Proceeds support our mission.

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2024

Time: 9AM - 1PM

Admission Fee: No entry fee


Morgan's Sports Complex

5025 David Edwards Dr.

San Antonio, TX 78233


[Image: King William Fair logo featuring an image of a bandstand and a Fiesta party banner.]

King William Fair

Come enjoy lots of family-friendly activities, food, and entertainment! Be sure to stop by our booth to say hello. We will have our 2024 Fiesta medals available for sale ($10/medal). Proceeds support the VGD mission.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024

Time: 9AM - 6PM

Admission Fee:

$15 advance pre-sale ($20 day of fair); Children 11 and under free

Location: King William District


This Fiesta season, our 2024 Fiesta medals will also be available for sale in Mike's Dog Store beginning March 18th. Stay tuned for announcements about more locations where you can purchase the VGD 2024 Fiesta San Antonio official medal!

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest information and events.

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How You Can Help

[Image: Torn piece of deep purple paper with the following quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."]

Volunteer Opportunities:

Do you excel at public speaking? Do you enjoy helping others? VGD is currently recruiting volunteers to serve as Blind Sensitivity and Sighted Guide Educators in the community. You will be trained by a VGD team member to teach others how to safely and effectively assist individuals with low or no vision better navigate the spaces around them as well as create more welcoming and accessible spaces in the community.

If you are interested in helping with our mission, please go to our website to complete a volunteer application. For questions or assistance, you can email or call us:


Phone: (830) 206-0626


That's Interesting

[Image: National Braille Press Valentine's Day greeting card featuring a puppy and kitten next to each other with the words, "Valentine, you're paw-some!" on a red heart in front of them and braille code above the heart. There are paw prints in the background. Also pictured is the back of the Valentine's card which has a Braille Decoder. The front and back of the card are placed on top of an envelope with a heart sticker and stamp with a puppy holding a heart and the word "love" above it. A red-colored pen is laying across the card with the Braille Decoder.]

Louis Braille & the Braille Code:

While there are a number of ways for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to access written materials these days, that wasn't always the case. Thanks to pioneers such as Louis Braille, access to printed materials has increased.

Louis Braille was born in 1809 and, at the age of 3, he lost sight in one of his eyes due to an injury. Infection set in and spread to his other eye, resulting in loss of sight to that eye as well. As a student at the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, Braille was determined to come up with a way for him and his fellow classmates to be able to read printed material. As luck would have it, he learned of a note-taking system utilizing embossed dots created by Charles Barbier, a retired officer in Napoleon's army.

Charles Barbier's communication system allowed messages to be passed between soldiers without requiring light to read which would have alerted enemies to their location. When the army chose not to adopt Barbier's system, he introduced it to the school for the blind. Braille was inspired to improve upon Barbier's system and, over the course of a few years, he developed it into the braille code that is still used to this day in almost every country around the globe and adapted in almost every known language.

The braille code provides individuals who are blind access to a wide-range of printed materials, allowing them to explore educational, recreational, and cultural topics. There are music scores, hymnals, playing cards, board games, and more that have been transcribed into braille. To learn more about the braille code, please visit the website for the National Braille Press or the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Library of Congress:

National Braille Press
National Library Service

Just for Fun

[Image: Strawberries dipped in semi-sweet chocolate placed on a white platter.]

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries:

Looking for a homemade gift for your loved one this Valentine's Day that's easy to make and won't break the bank? Try this recipe for chocolate-covered strawberries! They are delicious and can be made with your chocolate of choice: milk, semi-sweet, dark, or white. Make them extra special by adding sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, or any other dessert toppings you can think of. Get creative and enjoy!


Contact Us

Vision Guide Dogs, Inc.



Phone: (830) 206-0626

Our mission is to help individuals who are blind or visually impaired navigate the world.

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Vision Guide Dogs is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Federal Tax ID 92-0898185