Radar, a Labrador Retriever, began his career as a member of a hockey team. The New York Islanders assisted him in becoming the best guide dog by letting him socialize with people. After meeting with fans at hockey games, he soon became accustomed to crowds. These experiences aided him in completing his training at the Guide Dog Foundation.
Anastasia Pagonis, a professional swimmer, has subsequently been matched with the service dog. The 16-year-old athlete is presently preparing for the Paralympics, and Radar is assisting her in achieving her goals.
Pagonis began his career as a soccer player. However, she began to lose some of her vision at 11 due to a genetic illness. Pagonis could see well for the most part but had a blind spot in her eyesight that caused her to be injured frequently during soccer games. As a result, she set out to find a new sport that would be more suitable for her visual loss.
Pagonis lost her vision totally when she was around 14 years old. It was caused by autoimmune retinopathy, which was a secondary condition to her hereditary disorder. Pagonis was initially taken aback by the suddenness of the event. She was having trouble figuring out how to pursue her dream of becoming a professional swimmer.
She struggled to locate a coach who would train a blind girl when she decided to pursue swimming. Nobody believed in her until Islander Aquatics’ Marc Danin volunteered to assist her. He also wore special goggles to mask his vision, which helped him grasp how Pagonis felt while swimming.
Pagonis quickly regained control of his swimming, but life remained challenging. She had to rely on people to travel around a lot, yet she yearned to be self-sufficient. As a result, Radar came to save the day. He was ready to help Pagonis with her day-to-day activities once he ended his training with the New York Islanders and the Guide Dog Foundation.
Radar now accompanies his human everywhere, especially to the pool. He patiently waits for Pagonis while she swims, and once she’s back on the ground, he assists her in getting around. Thus, her beautiful dog has aided her in rediscovering herself.
Pagonis and Radar headed to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado after barely two weeks of being together. Radar was acting as if he’d known Pagonis his entire life. Pagonis will train at this facility in preparation for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, which have been postponed to 2021. There’s nothing she can’t accomplish with Radar by her side.
All photos courtesy of @anastasia_k_p/Instagram