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Moline couple raises service puppy to help blind veterans, first responders

They've raised more than 20 puppies in the past 22 years that have gone on to help the blind.

MOLINE, Illinois — A Moline couple is raising a future "canine leader."

Linda and Tony Gimble help with the Leader Dogs for the Blind organization. They've raised 22 puppies and have assisted the group since 2000.

Their latest puppy Jenny is one of seven newly sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation, which has given a $350,000 grant. When fully trained, those puppies will support blind veterans or first responders.

The couple said they have always been motivated by how life-changing a guide dog can be for those in need.

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"When you hear stories (like), 'I haven't been able to get out of the house, and now I can. And I feel comfortable getting out and walking miles,'" Linda Gimble said. "Where before it might be lucky if they go down to the mailbox. So, I think that's what's amazing."

The Gimbles teach the puppies basic obedience for one year before they go to a Michigan school for special training.

"The dogs are also taught intelligent disobedience," said Tony Gimble. "So if (the owner tells) the dog to go and it's dangerous, the dog just isn't going to go."

The dogs trained by the Gimble family have made new homes across the country and the world. 

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