WETHERSFIELD - Major surgeries and rehab have kept a Wethersfield man from his Seeing Eye dog, but the pair was recently reunited.
Howard Geltman, a 60-year-old Wethersfield resident, was born legally blind. He had to undergo two spinal surgeries in the past six months.
While in the hospital, Geltman was separated from his guide dog, Valor, a 5-year-old yellow lab. Geltman, who is receiving physical therapy at Mount Sinai Rehab Hospital in Hartford, built up enough strength to begin to walk and was reunited with Valor.
“It does wonders for him psychologically, emotionally, functionally,” said Dr. Maria Tsarouhas, a rehabilitation medicine specialist at Mt. Sinai. Tsaroushas added, “they are together, they are reunited... imagine not having your best friend.”
During a recent rehabilitation session at Mt. Sinai, Geltman said of Valor, “He’s my freedom; otherwise I’ve got to depend all the time on my wife or son or someone else.”
Geltman will continue his rehabilitation work at Mt. Sinai; he is busy building up strength to walk again and said his goal is to take mile long walks with Valor in the next two months.