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Noted Guide Dog Enters Retirement

The German shepherd that accompanied the first blind man to walk the entire 2,143-mile length of the Appalachian Trail is retiring.

Orient, the guide dog who sniffed and spied the trail for owner Bill Irwin, will hang up his harness Saturday. The 8-year-old dog suffers from arthritis in his hip. “He’ll just lie around, eat and sleep,” Irwin said.

The dog was featured in two books: “Blind Courage,” Irwin’s 1992 account of the journey along the mountain range from Georgia to Maine; and “Orient: Hero Dog Guide of the Appalachian Trail,” a children’s book published this year.

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