Flyer Arrives at His Forever Home

Oct 29th, 2020

For Immediate Release

Isaac Raske, 14, receives companion pet through The Chicago Lighthouse and Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s “Operation Cuddle Up”

CHICAGO (October 29. 2020) – After a journey across the country, Flyer, an 18-month-old yellow Labrador, arrived at his new home in Wheaton, Illinois, on Saturday, October 24. Flyer will serve as a companion for 14-year-old Isaac Raske, who is blind, and his family.
Flyer is the first dog to meet his forever friend as part of “Operation Cuddle-Up,” a partnership between The Chicago Lighthouse and Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, New York. Through the program, families of children who are blind or visually impaired can apply to receive a two-year-old trained Labrador or Shepherd that is the perfect companion dog.
“Our family loves dogs for the companionship, fun, and unconditional love they bring into our home,” said Angela Raske, Isaac’s mother. “When we heard about Operation Cuddle-Up, we knew it would be a wonderful opportunity to help Isaac build his confidence and have a forever friend.”
Studies have shown that pet ownership can increase fitness, lower stress, and help decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Pet ownership can also help teach children about responsibility and empathy.
“We are proud to work with Guiding Eyes for the Blind on Operation Cuddle Up to provide these forever friends to children and youth who are blind or visually impaired,” said Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Chicago Lighthouse. “It was a wonderful moment to witness Isaac and Flyer meeting each other. I can’t wait to hear how their relationship develops.”
In addition to Angela, Isaac, and Flyer, the Raske family includes a 10-year-old Golden Retriever, Cider, and three other children. Isaac’s father, John, is a member of The Chicago Lighthouse Board.

Photos and B-roll of Flyer’s arrival are available upon request.


About The Chicago Lighthouse

Serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veteran communities through innovative education, rehabilitation, employment, assistive technology, and other programs, The Chicago Lighthouse is one of the nation’s most comprehensive social service organizations. For additional information, visit

About Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. We are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence. Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with all services provided completely free of charge. At Guiding Eyes, we rely upon the contributions of our generous donors to fulfill our mission. We work out of our Headquarters and Training Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and our Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York. Guiding Eyes is an accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), the organization that establishes worldwide standards for the breeding and training of guide dogs.

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