When Anne Drake discovered she was losing her sight 12 years ago, she believed her life as she knew it was over.
"I thought I was never going to be able to do anything again," she said. "In the process of losing my sight, I lost who I was. I was no longer Anne, but I became somebody I didn't know."
Enter Tabitha, a guide dog who partnered with Drake about one year after she began to lose her sight. Drake and Tabitha were paired together through Leader Dogs for the Blind, an organization in Rochester Hills, Mich., that provides free guide dogs to the blind and visually impaired.
The improvement, Drake said, was unbelievable.
"Tabby, she led me into it," Drake, of South Bend, said. "She led me into the blindness and she led me into my new life. Her main job is to help me find things and keep me safe from things like moving cars. But she found me. She found who I was and helped me find myself again."
Tabitha's incredible work as Drake's guide dog for almost seven years will be recognized during the television broadcast of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, which begins at 8 p.m. Thursday on the Hallmark Channel