It would be hard to find an assistance dog partner who hasn't heard of Ed Eames and all the efforts he has undertaken on our behalf. It is equally difficult to imagine the world without Ed and Toni together as a couple and cohesive working team. I have fond memories of serving with Ed and Toni on committees and task forces where they contributed their considerable intellect and word smithing talents. I learned much about the power of words from Ed, and I know that Toni will proudly carry on all the causes Ed and she tackled as a couple.
From: Sheila Styron Added: November 7, 2009
Guide Dog Users, Inc. is one of many organizations that has benefitted from Ed's hard work and commitment to the assistance dog movement. We have lost a strong voice and willing champion. Ed's voice may be silent but his spirit and legacy remain and we will continue to honor his memory with our commitment to the movement he so valued.
From: Becky Barnes on behalf of GDUI Added: November 3, 2009
Ed Eames left those of us who partner with an assistance dog a powerful legacy of advocacy, independence and personal responsibility. I was happy that some of us in Tacoma, WA had the opportunity to spend some time with both he and Toni in July. Any legacy that creates such a strong path deserves the most positive of actions that can follow. It will be a tribute to Ed if we continue to pursue life with the same determined style that he demonstrated to all of us.
From: Jack Pearce-Droge Added: November 3, 2009
I have a number of fond memories, but one of my fondest was having lunch in London, having just flown in with my guide dog, and how, tired as we all were, we talked and laugh and reveled in just being there. I loved Ed's laugh and being part of that circle on that day.
From: Becky Barnes Added: November 2, 2009
Ed's legacy without a doubt is enormous. My heart goes out to both you Toni and to Latrell as you each come to terms in your own ways of this loss. Toni, this has to be an unimaginable time for you. As deeply as I feel the loss of Ed, never even having the opportunity to meet in person, I could not begin to grasp the loss that you personally have to come to terms with. For Latrell, As hard as it is to lose an assistance dog, I can't imagine being in Latrell's paws right now, as the person he devoted his life to protect has gone. I also want to take this moment to thankyou and Ed for being there for all of us. There were a few times during my life and partnership with Chimette (Met) that the words of comfort and support from you and Ed really helped me to move forward. The first occurred when Met was attacked by a pitbull. I was devastated to put it mildly. The change in our partnership was clear. The words from your computer screen to mine helped me keep things in better perspective; helped me to be strong for Met. If I were to choose one word that describes what not just Ed but you have been to anyone who writes or calls upon you, it is availability. You offer your time, your expertise, your ears and in return so many of us who are going through trying times or times when we just need another perspective are blessed by you. This is how I felt each time I sat down and typed an email to Ed and yourself. But the support of Ed and yourself has gone further than that. I have received many benefits since joining IAADP with Met, thanks in large part to the way in which Ed and yourself are able to share our needs and in return companies open their hearts and their hands to people they don't even know- only know of through Ed's and your charisma for our cause. I lived with a wonderful service dog for a decade, but also one with chronic health needs. These gifts, rather than benefits of membership, truly made us able to work together up until his passing. I for one, know that my life, my partnerships with assistance dogs have been made greater because of the charisma for our cause of both Ed and yourself. How does one thank a hero like that? My only thanks can be to share what I have gained through my independence, and make each day a glorious one with my new partner at my side.
From: Karyn and Thane Added: November 2, 2009
It was with great shock that I heard about the death of Ed at the weekend. Indeed, I am still coming to terms with the implications for the assistance dog movement of losing such a wonderful advocate as Ed. I cannot begin to imagine the loss you must feel and I want you to know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many people associated with this wonderful movement of ours.
Ed was an outstanding advocate for assistance dog partners as well as being a thoroughly decent human being – someone who always had time for everyone and made those around him feel special. I fondly remember the warmth and openness of the welcome I always received when meeting Ed and it is hard to believe that he is no longer with us.
On behalf of assistance dog programmes worldwide, I want you to know how much we have valued the contribution that Ed, yourself and other members of the IAADP Board have made to strengthening the movement. You can be justly proud of everything that Ed had done to enhance the opportunities open to assistance dog partners and without his outstanding contribution the world would be a lesser place for all of us.
We must ensure the wonderful legacy that Ed has left for us is continued and you can be assured that ADI will do everything we can to support the Board of IAADP in the future.
From: Peter Gorbing President – Assistance Dogs International Added: October 30, 2009
It may be little solace now to Ed's family and friends, but his legacy is great and Ed will always be remembered.
From: Fran Shaw Added: October 30, 2009
I met Ed many years ago. When we met he asked if he could touch my assistance dog, Sky. When he realized how big she was, he was a bit confused. I explained to him that Sky was a Harlequin albino Great Dane. He was fascinated by her size, her soft fur and her love. He said he could feel her love. From that point on when we met, he always remembered me. He passed on great tips about assistance dogs to me and was always willing to talk when I had a problem. I shall miss Ed. His articles and devotion to the assistance-dog community will be missed. I am fortunate to have met Ed and Toni. I treasure the memories and the friendship we shared.
From: Jodi Lee Ryan Added: October 30, 2009
So sorry to hear about Ed. He was so vibrant and youthful/ full of fun and interest in others. Big loss for all of us.
From: The Brody Family Added: October 30, 2009
I couldn't even begin to list all Ed's contributions to the assistance dog movement, and to those of us who are partnered with assistance dogs. I will leave that to others. I personally have benefited greatly by Ed's involvement in the National Federation of the Blind, and the book he and Toni wrote, A GUIDE TO GUIDE DOG SCHOOLS. His courage, his compassion for people and their animals, his commitment to the best care and training of our assistance dog partners, have made an immense contribution to so many thousands of lives, both canine and human. His passing means that many of us must step up to the plate and continue the wonderful works he began. Toni, warm hugs to you, and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers!
From: Susan Jones and Guiding Eyes dog Rhoda Added: October 30, 2009