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Blind woman receives best gift for Christmas

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A blind 39-year-old woman from Horn Lake says she's received the best Christmas gift ever.

She has received a beautiful young Doberman Pinscher.

The special part is, this is a fully trained guide dog that will lead Connie Johnson through life... Literally.

Connie began losing her sight at the age of 9 due to retina deterioration. She is almost totally blind and is dependant on service dogs.

Zoey, Gallant Hearts Guide Dog Center's first graduate. After two years of fundraising and puppy raising.

Gallant Hearts paired Connie and Zoey together. The leash was handed over this week.

"That dog is responsible for the life of a person everyday. She will keep Connie from falling. She will keep Connie from walking out into a car. She has become a very nice guide dog," said Rebecca Floyd, Exec. Director of Gallant Heart Guide Dog Center.

"They are special because they guide us through the world that we cannot see. And they are able to be there when we need them," said Johnson.

No expense was spared to train Zoey.

The cost was around $18,000. But all of it was donated by volunteers and supporters of Gallant Hearts.

Most guide dog schools charge between $35 and $50,000.

Zoey was a gift to Connie.

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