As Igor’s sight deteriorated, he developed mobility issues. “I realized I could no longer walk safely by myself,” he told us. “But I wanted to maintain my independence, so I investigated partnering with a guide dog.”
Because of Covid, Igor was trained in a home course in June 2021. He developed an immediate connection with Apollo—his first guide dog. It would become much stronger when Igor’s life hung in the balance.
At a train station, Igor suddenly had a heart attack. Apollo sensed something was wrong, and led Igor to someone in uniform, and first responders used a defibrillator to save his life. “Apollo led me to the right place and the right people, so I could get the proper attention.” Igor spent a week in the hospital to rehabilitate. “Apollo’s companionship facilitated my healing process—I owe him a lot”
Today, Igor, in his late 50’s, is totally blind. But he and Apollo spend all their time together. They have a daily routine that includes a 40-minute walk for exercise when it cools off in the evenings. Igor also lifts light weights for conditioning and stretches to maintain flexibility.
“I don’t like to sit too much” he confides to us. “I have to keep moving so I can participate in ballroom, salsa, and folk dancing. It was a miracle I survived the heart attack. I guess it wasn’t my time yet, so I’m going to make the most of my second chance.
“Thank you, Apollo—and the people at the station—and Israel Guide Dog Center’s donors—for being the miracles that saved my life.”