The story of Ali Hope
|Tamara and Pepsi. Pepsi is now retired and lives with Tamara and her
After being hit by a car, Tamara Meirovich, deaf
with vision loss due to Usher's Syndrome and a
mother of 2, was encouraged to get a guide dog to assist her. "Pepsi", a
Golden Retriever, became her companion and helped her gained independence.
Before Tamara was struck by the car, she used a white cane when she left her
home. But because she was also deaf and was unaware of the sounds around her,
she was never really comfortable using a cane. After her accident, she became
housebound and wouldn't go out. Then she got Pepsi, who encouraged her, and she
became more secure and independent.
Later, Tamara began to take classes to become a dog trainer, too.
Attending the classes to become a dog trainer was a challenge for Tamara. It
would take one hour and 3 busses to get to the class. Once there, an
interpreter would facilitate her communication with her teacher and classmates.
Tamara and Pepsi met the challenge, and Tamara is now a qualified dog trainer
who has already trained 3 dogs to assist deaf persons in Israel.
Aliza and Tamara
Aliza and Hope
Tamara met Aliza Alpern in dog training class. Aliza was from the USA,
and Aliza could see that Pepsi was getting older and
would soon need to retire. Aliza took the strong initiative to train a new dog for Tamara. "Hope", a yellow Labrador Retriever, was trained not only to alert
Tamara to sounds, but also to guide her when walking outside her home, and to
pick up objects.
Aliza was very special to Tamara,
and sadly, Aliza was diagnosed with
cancer. After Aliza gave Hope to Tamara, she was only able to see the pair
walking together one time. Aliza was very touched to realize that Hope
understood what she needed to do to guide Tamara. After that day, Aliza was
unable to see Tamara and Hope in action again before the cancer took her life.
Aliza's dedication and hard work live on everyday as Hope enables Tamara to
continue her active and independent life. Tamara and Hope routinely travel on
busses, shop in the supermarket, go to the bank, and walk independently with
help from other people.
We want other deaf and deaf-blind
persons to have the support and love of dogs like Pepsi and Hope. This desire
became the birth of our foundation.
foundation is named AFTER a person who CARED
and a dog who SUPPORTS!
Aliza & Hope = Ali Hope