Harness Up! Blog

HarnessUp! is the official newsletter of the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU). Harness Up! contains information of interest to guide dog users and others associated with the guide dog movement and the organized blind. Unlike many other publications on the subject of guide dogs and their use, articles appearing in Harness Up! are written from the standpoint of guide dog users themselves. Most other literature about guide dogs is published by guide dog training programs, which promote their particular programs through their publications. Well-known books on the subject have been written by individual guide dog users and by others interested in the guide dog movement. Few, if any, such publications portray the efforts of guide dog users working together through organizations such as the National Association of Guide Dog Users and the National Federation of the Blind.

  • why some blind people decide to use a guide dog for independent travel
  • what training programs are available for teaching dogs the art of guiding their blind handlers and teaching blind people how to work successfully with their dogs to realize the maximum benefit from them.

Other topics include

  • the human/animal bond and the roll it plays in shaping effective guide dog teams
  • information on the care, feeding, and veterinary care of guide dogs
  • stress management
  • issues related to the retirement of a beloved guide
  • retraining with a replacement guide
  • Harness Up! also contains information about the activities of the National Association of Guide Dog Users and the National Federation of the Blind. 

A Brief History

Harness Up! began life in the late 1980s as the Newsletter of the Guide Dog Users Committee of the National Federation of the Blind of New York State. It was offered in print, and on audio cassette and was published biennially as it is today. It became the official newsletter of the National Association of Guide Dog Users in the early 1990s. It was one of the first NFB-related publications to be offered in an electronic Braille format via the International Electronic Braille Library (IEBL.) With the launch of NAGDU’s web site, readers were able to read and/or download ASCII Text or electronic Braille editions of Harness Up! from the site. Complete ASCII and electronic Braille editions of Harness Up! can be downloaded by selecting the appropriate links below. You will be able to download individual issues in either medium from their respective pages. You can select the particular issue and the medium in which you want to read it from the table below.

Those who become members of NAGDU are eligible to receive Harness Up! in print or on audio cassette. It is our hope that you will find the information in this newsletter provocative and of assistance to you.

Article Submissions

Submissions can be sent in either Word or text formats to



The National Federation of the Blind has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging discrimination for failing to transport blind people accompanied by their guide dogs. Uber asserts they are not a transportation provider; rather, they are a technology company.


Lyft plans to appeal Hillsborough ruling

With the ongoing litigation of the National Federation of the Blind alleging discrimination by Uber, another ride-sharing company, we are keeping our eye on this issue with Lyft. Uber and Lyft contend they are not transportation companies and, as such, not covered entities subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Dr. larry Kilmar in His own words: “We made history today!”

Summary of training session on 5/9/15

Today we had Marion Gwizdala, NAGDU President, his wife, Merry Schoch, their granddaughter, Hannah , and Marion’s dog, along with Chuck and Debbie Hietala, Area Coordinators for the Guide Dog Foundation, and 5 guide dogs in training and their trainers to tour the Zoo.


National Association Of Guide Dog Users Chooses Twilio To Power Their Hotline

The National Association Of Guide Dog Users Chooses Twilio To Power Their Hotline, Track Down Illegal Denial Of Service Issues


Another Desensitization Session at the Zoo

As we move forward to demonstrate how live animal collections can desensitize their animals to the presence of service dog in an effort to afford the least restrictive access to disabled individuals accompanied by their service dogs, we will be posting the results of our efforts. Here is a report from Dr.


Frequently Asked Questions about Service animals & the ADAFrequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

The following information is excerpted from


For more information or for advocacy guidance, please call 888-NAGDU411 (888-624-3841)

Marion Gwizdala, President