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Adam and Ursa

Meet November Home Training Graduate Adam

Graduate Adam and guide dog Ursa against a backdrop of orange fall foliage

Graduate Team:  Adam and Ursa
About the Team:  Ursa, a female yellow Lab, is Adam’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Michael Goehring

Adam was raised in Monroe, NY, a town situated northwest of the NYC area. He attended New York University (NYU), graduating with both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work. He moved to Seattle, Washington six years ago with his wife Sarah, a medical assistant in a local hospital. Prior to relocating, Adam worked for ten years in a drug rehabilitation center, in Queens, New York. Currently, he is employed as a Behavioral Health Consultant at a medical clinic within Seattle’s Hospital system. Adam provides short term and early intervention assistance and support to patients entering the clinic.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Ursa is a female, yellow lab. She is a sweetheart, very loving and communicates well. In any and all situations we might encounter, Ursa will stop and check in to let me know what is going on.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “Ursa is my second Guiding Eyes dog. My previous guide dog had passed away unexpectedly, so keep in mind that the pandemic created a huge obstacle in securing a dog quickly. I considered other schools, but felt Guiding Eyes provided the best opportunity for me to receive a guide dog and training sooner rather than later, and Guiding Eyes came through. They conducted my training at my home where there were less distractions. This provided us with a head-start because Ursa became familiar with our neighborhood geography and work environment very quickly. My good fortune all occurred despite the pandemic and its impact on the world.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Having a guide dog has helped eliminate accidents and injuries. I credit Ursa and our training to my ability to get around, as opposed to when I had to rely on a cane. It is the difference between night and day. I feel liberated and have my freedom back since Ursa’s arrival. This coming weekend, Ursa will be accompanying me on a flight to North Carolina to attend my sister’s wedding.”

Were there any training highlights? “I learned early on that Ursa has great energy and moves fast, like she is outfitted with ‘rocket boosters.’ It’s funny, but true, that my feet were quite sore, as I, the trainer, and Ursa logged in many, many miles during our training in Seattle.”

Meet Guide Dog Ursa

Ursa is the type of dog you can’t help but fall in love with instantly. She is a cuddle bug and loves to give you a paw. Our family always loved to call her Ursa Bear because of her big personality and love for snuggling next to us. She was always a big hit at the elementary school where I work. Students would happily greet her in the hallway and loved to come in and read to her. Ursa not only loves people, but dogs too, preferring to snuggle with our other dogs rather than by herself. We are so proud of the confident, young dog that she has become and can’t wait to see what life has in store for her and her new handler.

Shannon Doubet and Family, Puppy Raisers of Ursa

Enjoy these photos of the team and Ursa as a pup on program…