LANCASTER, Pa. — Guide dog Yoshi is just 18 months old, but he's already made a life changing impact.
"He's brought a lot more freedom, I can do more things on my own,” said Jeff Hostetter. “I trust him with everything. he proved himself."
Lancaster native, Jeff Hostetter lost his vision about six years ago.
"You lose your driving privileges and I used to open the door all the time for my wife in the car,” said Hostetter. “I cooked and baked and did all that kind of stuff. I just miss that."
But Yoshi is helping him experience the little things in life again, that he once took for granted.
The Labrador also helps Jeff do important work at VisionCorps in Lancaster.
“I used to work in a prison and work security,” said Hostetter. “I wanted to do something where I was protecting people because I missed that.”
Jeff makes the padding that goes inside military flight helmets.
He doesn’t miss a beat, and Yoshi is never far and keeping watch.
But it took a lot of hard work and perseverance to get to this point.
"Leader Dogs for the Blind' provided both Yoshi and months of training to Jeff, free of charge.
He credits his VisionCorps coworker, Jen, for getting him connected to the program.
She shared a full circle moment, after learning Yoshi was part of leader dog's prison inmate program.
"Talk about an ironic situation where Jeff was a security guard in his previous life before losing his vision,” said mobility specialist, Jennifer Eaton. “Then having Yoshi raised by an inmate, whose life is now more filled and has more purpose because of having that opportunity."
Yoshi is extremely disciplined on the job, but jeff says some of his favorite moments happen at home when he's just being man's best friend.
“He's friendly and he's just made me a lot happier,” he said.