Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Angela and Abbie

Meet July Residential Training Graduate Angela

Angie is happy to pose with her beautiful new guide dog AbbieGraduate Team:  Angela and Abbie
About the Team:  Abbie, a female black Lab, is Angie’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Whitestown, Indiana
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Chrissy Vetrano

Angie is a retired teacher and the director of a public school corporation. In her retirement, she continues to teach a high school biology class one day a week and is getting ready to return to class with Abbie. Angie has three children and two grandchildren. She and her husband enjoy time at their lake house, where they fish and enjoy water sports.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Abbie is a beautiful dog with a big personality.  She loves life and after a recent trip to our lake house, we learned that she loves the water!  I think of her harness as her suit and briefcase, because once it’s on she is ready to work.  Abbie is very smart and likes to work.  Even if there is nothing on the calendar on a given day, I make a point to take her to the park where she can practice her skills and focus.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “As my vision continues to deteriorate, I want to be able to maintain my independence.  I especially do not want to have to rely so heavily on my husband.  When I researched guide dog schools, I was impressed by the care Guiding Eyes put into the breeding process.  I knew I would receive a high quality dog.  I also appreciated the extensive process Guiding Eyes uses to ensure a successful match between dog and user.  I am so thankful for Abbie.  She is a blessing in my life.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “In the short time since I returned home from training, Abbie has become an extension of me. Her routine has become part of mine, and mine of hers.  As I told my grandchildren, “Abbie is my eyes.”   In addition to giving me independence, I can tell she has put my husband at ease.  He knows I have Abbie and can safely navigate my day.”

Were there any training highlights?  “When I arrived at the Guiding Eyes campus for training, I was immediately struck by how kind and supportive everyone is!  I felt right at home.  I was concerned about making mistakes and how that might affect Abbie.  My trainer Chrissy assured me that Abbie knew her training and skills, I just needed to focus on my training.  Chrissy was very accommodating and tailored my training to my lifestyle.  I am seldom in a city, so instead of a trip to NYC, we visited the Vassar College campus and practiced roundabouts there.  It was a lovely and very meaningful day.  I arrived home from training on a Saturday and that Monday Melinda, a local Guiding Eyes Guide Dog Mobility Instructor came to my home.  This was wonderful support in reinforcing the training in my home environment and on local routes.“

Meet Guide Dog Abbie

Enjoy these photos of the team…