As a rehab technologist I came to know Ed and Toni when they asked if I could fix a balky cassette player. The machine was their access to a world of literature we sighted people take for granted, and Ed hovered over me as I peered into its guts. This began my friendship with this driven couple and their house full of animals. I will greatly miss Ed's easygoing style, his understated brilliance, and his hospitality.
From: Howard Hurtt Added: December 10, 2009
Dear Toni, We were fortunate to meet you & Ed at the ADI/IAADP conference in San Diego soon after I graduated with CCI Service Dog Indy (Indira III). We were immediately impressed by your dedication, professionalism and warmth. You invited us to lunch in your suite & we learned firsthand what genuine people you were. In the years since, you both responded to my emails with prompt, accurate information. You also shared your monthly news with us, which has been so appreciated. Your advocacy for the assistance dog movement cannot be measured; you worked selflessly as a team and I know Ed continues to be "by your side," Toni. He is dearly missed but will never be forgotten. With our love & prayers, Mary & Richard
From: Mary Hill & Richard Leste Added: December 7, 2009
My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Eames. The world has lost a great advocate for the assistance dog movement.
From: Tammy Catalano Added: November 29, 2009
Dear Toni, You and Ed have brought awareness of service dog issues and concerns to the veterinary community. I am very fortunate to have met you and Ed, I appreciate your kindness and friendship. We will all miss Ed, but the legacy the two of you created will continue on. Please accept my sympathy for your loss.
From: Dr Pam Mitchell Added: November 26, 2009
I won a scholarship to attend a conference a few years go in Baltimore; it was Edís topic of Emergency preparedness that caught my interest and made me submit for it. It was because of his devotion and commitment that I went home and began my own educational program on the subject. Now Iím working with a videographer to make a DVD to be given out to future graduating teams from Canine Partners for Life, instructing them on how they can carry it forward to their towns, cityís, and states. I have educated my own emergency responders in my city and surrounding areaís including the local Red Cross, so that perhaps any other working dog teams wonít run into complications during an emergency situation. Toni, meeting you both that year meant a lot too me; I came away having learned so very much from the various lectures. Sadly I had to retire my standard poodle, Fennec; but he is now retired and living a leisurely life here at home with the other pets. I now have a wonderful little black lab named Tinker; who is doing great. God Bless and I know you had to have been so very proud of all that Ed accomplished.
From: Lori Buffington & Tinker *retiree Fennec too* Added: November 23, 2009
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This is sad news. Ed and Toni Eames are long term SDS members and important teachers and founders and encouragers of work on anthro and disability who went on to even more important work as advocates in the assistance dog movement.
Tomorrow, as I drive to Petaluma to pick up a rescue basset hound named Honey who is about to share my life, I will think of Ed and Toni and their guide dogs, past and present, both three and four legged.
From: Devva Kasnitz Added: November 21, 2009
I am sorry for your loss. I remember fondly the time we got together here in Kansas. When we went to the concert it was very cool that Ed enjoyed the music. I also remember the day all of you came to the house for an outdoor bar b que and Ed enjoyed playing a little golf with me in the backyard. The birds were really singing that day. He was a fun guy and I enjoyed our time together. He will be missed.
Your friend, Pat Exposito
From: Pat Exposito Added: November 15, 2009
I've known Ed for many years, visiting with Ed and Toni and different conferences around the country and spending fun times at their house. He would have a wonderful BBQ and I would go out on the little patio they had and watched him grill. Often I thought what a wonderful example both he and Toni are to the community... what they have done to help so many people, inviting people to live theature, on trips here and there. Ed was always so kind, thruoghtful and never hesitated to talk about issues related to the assistance dog field. He would take the dogs out in the morning to excercise and pick up after them. Ed loved life, Toni and all his animals that have come in and out of his life. He was a wonderful husband, friend and human being and he will be missed. See you in Heaven Ed...
From: Sr Pauline Quinn op Added: November 14, 2009
Dear Toni and Family:
I am so very saddened, by our loss of Ed to your family and our community. Over the many years that I have been a member or IAADP, I contacted Ed and yourself on many service dog issues, such as housing, access, legislation and other matters that enhanced my independance and quality of life. Ed was always available, by telephone or e-mail to provide exceptional guidance and advice. I wish I would have had the honor of meeting you and Ed personally. I will always keep Ed, in my heart and memories,for the wonderful and devoted work that he has accomplished, for all of the disability community. May God Bless and keep you and yours, at this very difficult time.
From: Maxine Hayden & Missy Added: November 14, 2009
Simply put, Ed was that rare blend of kindness, honesty, intellect, passion and humor that makes all of our lives better. Service dogs and their humans could not have had a better advocate than Ed. His persistence and eloquence gave service dogs and their people a voice. That voice led not just to legislation, but also to education and changes in how the veterinary community understood the role of service dogs and the people who rely on them. In turn, we also became advocates for Ed's message.
Ed was a man who loved deeply, whether his focus was his soulmate Toni, or the "furries", as he and Toni labeled their non-human companions. Watching Ed with Keebler and Latrell....and their absent predecessors.....was to observe someone who knew that partnerships went both ways and that everyone's needs mattered. Ed and Toni have relentlessly shared this message with generations of veterinarians and vet students who have become more patient and humane as a result of their teachings.
To be in Ed's presence when he spoke of issues that mattered - whether these pertained to presidential politics or to overseas access for service dogs - was to be fully engaged and know what it meant to be alive.
Ed never gave up and he never gave in. His internal compass was true and unwavering. His legacy is the enduring cause of better and more compassionate access for all. That Ed delivered this message with love and laughter was his gift to all of us.