The post is called Career Moves and describes how the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 convinced Jim to leave Wall Street and apprentice at the Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ instead. My Daily Bark post quotes an article in The North Jersey Record that reports salaries start in the $40,000 range for those in the Seeing Eye’s three-year apprentice training program, and that the salary for full instructors ranges from $50,000 to $85,000. From my Daily Bark guest post:
Odds are that Jim Kessler took a significant paycut to work for the Seeing Eye, but he doesn’t talk about that. He talks instead about his respect for the instructors he works with, his pride in the remarkable work the dogs do, and how much he loves his family.
I learned all this during a drive with Jim when I was at the Seeing Eye training with Whitney. The last few days of training at the Seeing Eye are called “freelancing”: instructors expose us to some of the unique situations we’ll be facing once we’re home. When I learned that Jim and his wife Carrie have three daughters in school (in addition to a two-year-old son at home), I asked if I could spend my freelancing time visiting the elementary school his daughters go to. From the post:
Jim stayed at the school with us during the visit, and you didn’t have to be able to see to know he was beaming when we arrived. He was unabashedly delighted to be at school with his daughters, and they were proud to have their dad – and a Seeing Eye graduate with her working dog – at school with them that day, too.
After what happened on September 11, 2001, Jim Kessler is the first to tell you that he considers himself a very lucky guy. I’m a lucky woman, too: a man with integrity like his had a part in training Whitney. And me.