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Agnes & Mikaela

Thank you to our generous September Graduate Team Sponsors…

“In memory of Aunt Maxine, a life-long animal lover, who cherished all the animals she knew, but most of all, was in awe of Jada, Cindy Lou Altman’s Guiding Eyes guide dog, and the freedom and confidence Cindy Lou gained. Maxine would be beaming knowing this graduation was sponsored in her memory.”

– Cris and Cindy Lou Altman

“In memory of Joe Hilton, and wishing Guiding Eyes Moseley good luck!”

– Tina Shevetone and Judy Eisele

Meet Home Training Graduate Agnes

Both Agnes and Mikaela are all smiles as they pose for the camera!Graduate Team: Agnes & Mikaela
About the Team: Mikaela, a female yellow Lab, is Agnes’ 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Saugerties, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Kathryn Poallo

Agnes is a former caregiver, now enjoying her retirement. She is happily married to her husband John, and has 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She loves listening to sports, as well as walking, cooking and visiting a local pool – all while listening to music. She describes herself as content with little expectation of life, of good cheer and as having a love for people.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Beautiful! She’s very gentle and it was love at first sight. Mikaela loves to sleep in the sun and lie on the porch. She is always obedient, loves her food and is good as gold; as well as being an excellent listener. Mikaela has shown herself to be a diligent and focused worker in harness.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog at Guiding Eyes? “After my positive experiences training at Guiding Eyes with my previous guide Lima, I knew I wanted to return to this school for my next dog. I felt empowered to do whatever was needed to work successfully with my new guide. I found training to be very thorough and the support and attention from everyone involved has been wonderful.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog enables me to get out and about independently, which is important to me, being that my husband John is now housebound. I enjoy walking to keep healthy and I feel safe when I’m out with Mikaela.”

Were there any training highlights? “From the start, Mikaela bonded with me and we worked well together immediately. The trainer was always calm and supportive.”

Meet Guide Dog Mikaela

Mikaela sits proudly wearing her guide dog harness.

Mikaela’s litter was named in honor of Team USA Gold Medalists at the 2USA Olympic logo018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. She is proud to represent renowned alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, in honor of her Olympic gold in women’s giant slalom. 

Mikaela was always very attentive and listened carefully. I really enjoyed watching her soak in new environments and develop relationships as she grew. She would visit Washington, DC with her puppy friends, ride the metro train and visit the zoo, where she once met a giraffe who bent over to investigate her. She calmly looked up at this big creature as if to say “well, hello”.  Mikaela was famous from day one, as she was chosen as one of Guiding Eyes Olympic Pups and named after skier, Mikaela Shiffrin. Although she never learned how to ski, Mikaela was a super star in everything she encountered when she was with me.

Lisa Gaskin, raiser of Mikaela

Mikaela was an affectionate dog and happy to rest her head on your feet or have her tummy tickled. She certainly loved her food; she’d try to lick the spots off the bowl! She was always playful with our 8 year old Labrador and never happier than when running away with his much-loved tennis ball!

Sue D., temporary foster of Mikaela

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

Meet our other recent guide dog team graduates. Click here!

Friends and Family:  Watch this video to learn more about  Working with a Guide Dog Team.