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.
From: Karen Overall Added: November 14, 2009
The assistance dog movement has lost its mentor and father figure. We in Indiana are truely grateful for his help in changing the access laws here this past year, and for his work with the TSA in providing relief areas for traveling Partners.
From: Gary and Brady Added: November 13, 2009
Please accept our deepest condolences. Ed was a wonderful man and an asset to the service dog community.
From: Elizabeth Karnazes Added: November 13, 2009
All of us at TOP DOG were saddened to hear of Ed's passing. I met Ed and Toni years ago when they came to Tucson to see Stew Nordensson. Stew always spoke so highly of them, it was a delight to meet them. The work Ed and Toni did for the service dog handler has been monunmental, and we know that IAADP will continue that work into the future. All of us in the service dog field know that we owe Ed a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts, and we mourn his passing. Peace and prayers to Toni and all of you at IAADP as you carry on his work.
With fond memories,
Lydia Kelley, Training Director, TOP DOG
From: Lydia Kelley, TOP DOG Added: November 12, 2009
Toni and IAADP,
I am truly sorry for your loss, my deepest sympathy and condolences on your loss. While I did not personally know Ed, I have heard and read about Toni and him through The Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound as well as in news articles. His generosity, time, and many accomplishments to IAADP and others have contributed to so many and I know all will continue to thrive for many more to follow. His presence is forever near.
Again, my deepest sympathy and condolences.
Blessings and Light Always, Susy Davis and Shadow
From: Susy Davis and Shadow Added: November 12, 2009
Dear Tony Eames and everyone at I.A.A.D.P., We send you our sincere sympathy and condolence on the passing of Ed Eames. Such a great loss to his family, friends and all guide dog handlers. Please know, everyone is in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Sarah Calhoun, Tico (my guide) & Miah (retired guide)
From: Sarah Calhoun, Tico (my guide) & Miah (retired Guide Added: November 9, 2009
I am sadly about the news, we never met but we seems to have the same goals to educates the public about service animals the laws still and are about to change thank for make us aware of them.....
We all will miss you.
From: Marguerite & Jello Maddox Added: November 9, 2009
My relationship with Ed spread over 12 years so it is difficult to capture one specific moment. I can close my eyes even now and picture the many special dinners we shared during conferences over the years in which we discussed changes and obstacles in our world of disability awareness and assistance dog access. Ed would always present the obstacle then treat it simply as a challenge to be tackled...rather than as a brick wall. He continues to be such an inspiration to all of us and we can only honor him by continuing his work with greater dedication. Ed's legacy is a powerful one and his spirit strong.
From: Carol Davis Added: November 8, 2009
I have known Ed for close to 20 years and I have yet to reconcile his loss in my mind as a friend and one of the strongest advocates for people with disabilities that I have known in 40 years of working for and with people with disabilities. ED is one of my top 5 heroes, along with FDR, MLK and a small handful of good managers. ED was relentless, persuasive and hard to say no to. He was compassionate, smart and persistent, a very effective package. This tough, yet gentle New Yorker showed the rest of us, if we were really listening and watching, how to live life to the fullest despite life’s challenges. Ed was out there, he traveled and advocated for the assistance dog movement more than anyone I have known. Obviously Ed will be sorely missed and his departure is our significant loss.
From: corey hudson Added: November 8, 2009
You will be truly missed; thank you for doing so much, words could never be enough to let you know how much I appreciate your work.