Thomas Panek recently done something never done before. During St. Patricks Day this Year Panek ran a New York City half marathon with his trusted sidekicks. Westley, Waffle, and Gus, all labs, helped him along the way, and here is why.
Thomas has been blind since he was twenty due to a genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, so he now needs guide dogs to help him get through his daily tasks, but he goes above and beyond when it comes to being active. Even with his disability, he still runs and he runs a lot. He comments,
“It never made sense to me to walk out the door and leave my guide dog behind when I love to run and they love to run. It was just a matter of bucking conventional wisdom and saying why not.”
Now Thomas is the CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He absolutely loves his dogs and loves his job. Although he is a busy worker, he also makes time to run marathons. The active man comments,
“I think the point of doing this is to say there are no excuses. Your excuse is not going to be good anymore, if I can run 13.1 miles through the streets of NYC blind, your excuse isn’t going to be good enough.”
Finally, he adds, “The best thing you can do is if you have a dog, get out there and go for a run for them. Go to the vet to get it checked out, make sure they’re run-ready, and then don’t leave the dog at home.”