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Sculpture honoring guide, assistance dogs to be dedicated July 25 in Centennial Hall

July 11, 2014
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Dr. Katherine Schneider and guide dog Luna will be on hand for the July 25 dedication of the bronze sculpture "Juno," which honors guide and other assistance dogs. (Photo by Claire Madden)

EAU CLAIRE — A sculpture honoring guide and other assistance dogs will be dedicated July 25 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Designed and cast by the Randolph Rose Collection of Yonkers, New York, the sculpture was commissioned by Dr. Katherine Schneider, UW-Eau Claire senior psychologist emerita, and friends in honor of Schneider's 41 years of partnerships with Seeing Eye dogs. The dedication will take place at noon in the second-floor lantern area of Centennial Hall. The sculpture is located near the university's Student Success Center, which houses the Services for Students with Disabilities office.

The life-size bronze sculpture of a yellow Labrador retriever with harness is accompanied by a plaque featuring text in both print and Braille. Titled "Juno," the sculpture is named after the initial walk a student takes at guide dog school, during which the student's particular needs, hopes and dreams for working with a guide dog are ascertained, Schneider said. She added that the piece honors not only guide and other assistance dogs but also all of the humans who raise, train and offer retirement homes for these canines.

Schneider said students have commented to her that they miss their own animals while away at college.

"It is my hope that they may find comfort from touching the sculpture as well as inspiration as they go about achieving their own hopes and dreams," she said.

The sculpture purchase was funded by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation through gifts from Schneider and friends Dr. Sally Webb and Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, both UW-Eau Claire emerita professors. The L.E. Phillips Family Foundation and the Presto Foundation also donated toward the purchase.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation underwrote the creation of the plaque and will sponsor a reception immediately following the sculpture dedication.

For information about visitor parking on campus or disability accommodation needs, contact events coordinator Debra Lang at 715-836-5607 or langda@uwec.edu.

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