Introducing Willie the Seeing Eye Dog


I’m Willie the Seeing Eye Dog. I help Software Development Manager Ed Summers get around SAS Corporate Headquarters without breaking his neck. The editors at SAS provided these questions for me to answer so you can learn more about what I do.

What would SAS customers be surprised to learn about the job you perform?
I go everywhere Ed goes. That includes planes, trains, taxis, restaurants, Disney World, camping, hiking and sailing. We’re a team and we stick together!

Willie waits patiently as Ed demonstrates accessible SAS software on an iPad at SAS Global Forum 2012.

What’s the most interesting part of your job?
I love conferences! Ed goes to conferences for blind guys. That means there are lots of other Seeing Eye Dogs.  When the blind guys aren’t paying attention we get to sniff one another and swap war stories. It’s a real blast!

What aspect of your job do you like best?
I love lunch. Sometimes, I find little pieces of food on the floor in the cafeteria and I can grab them quickly before the blind guy catches me. If you see me do it, please don’t blow my cover.

Because of what I do, SAS . . .
... doesn't have to spend as much money cleaning the floors in the cafeterias.

Which one of the company’s five core values is most important in the work that you do?
Well, it is definitely not Approachable. I’m a Seeing Eye Dog and you’re not supposed to pet me when I’m working. I think Swift and Agile would be a good fit because Ed loves to move fast. However, I think Trustworthy is the best fit for me because my primary job is to keep Ed safe.

Memorable moments?
We were hanging out at the pool at SAS Global Forum a few weeks ago and someone spilled a Mai Tai under the chair beside me. Oh boy, that was yummy. Don’t tell the blind guy about that.

Talk about how a SAS colleague or mentor has influenced your career.
Well, I don’t have many mentors here at SAS. The sheep working at the SAS solar farm are downright uninspiring and I haven’t seen the cows for years. I did see “Big Bird” on campus last year. I’m sure he has lots of great ideas, but none of them made any sense to me.

What is your fantasy job?
I would go take care of those sheep. They’re always dispersed across the field. I don’t know why, but that really gets under my skin. I think they should be in a nice neat little group. That would look a lot better.

What’s the best thing about working at SAS?
The best thing about working at SAS is all my adoring fans – especially the kids in the preschool here at SAS. Every time I walk by they line up at the fence and call my name. It makes me feel like a superstar. I love that!

Who would you like to see featured next on this blog?
I want to hear from the sheep.


About Author

Willie the Seeing Eye Dog

SAS Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology

Willie the Seeing Eye dog has been part of the SAS Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology team for four years. He helps Software Development Manager Ed Summers get around SAS Corporate Headquarters without breaking his neck. He plans to blog about his many adventures with Ed as they work to ensure that users of all abilities can succeed using SAS software.


    • Alison Bolen
      Alison Bolen on

      Thanks, Ajay. I'm also excited for future posts from Willie, to see what he can teach us all about assistive technologies.

  1. Pingback: Using PROC SQL to get the schema of a MySQL database - The SAS Dummy

  2. Hey Willie
    You sound like a real smart dog. I'd love to know more about you.
    If you ever plan a visit to canada which I hope you will soon
    I would be honored to host you & Ed -so what's your plan to collect all that data , ahem sheep 😉

  3. Angela Lipscomb on

    so nice to learn more about Willie (who knew he had such a sharp sense of humor?). My kids were big fans when they were in pre-school here at SAS.

  4. V.S.Purushothaman on

    Hi Willie....
    Had heard about you from some colleagues here in Pune, India. But its really very nice to hear it from you.... doing a great job, would like to know more about you.

  5. This is for Ed. Saw the piece on using tablets for visually impaired people. Nice work. Wanted to let you know about the video glasses we are launching for people with low vision (Visual acuity between 20/60 and 20/400). You can visit our web site or call me if you want more information. Keep up the great work! Kim Tietz 215.380.4164

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