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Ariana and Percy

Meet July Residential Training Graduate Ariana

Graduate Ariana and guide dog PercyGraduate Team:  Ariana and Percy
About the Team:  Percy, a male black Lab, is Ariana’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Meriden, Connecticut
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Michelle Tang

Ariana is a student at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut, where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education.  She looks forward to her return to campus with Percy accompanying her to her classes and activities. A professor on campus happens to be a Guiding Eyes puppy raiser, providing Percy with the opportunity to inspire and encourage an aspiring future guide dog.  In her free time, Ariana enjoys playing the acoustic guitar.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Percy is 2 ½ years old and very calm.  He has a very soft coat. He loves to play fetch and when he wants to play, he’ll bring me a toy or poke me with his bone!  When he is in harness, he is super focused.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I attended an Open House at Guiding Eyes with my mobility coach and as I learned more about the program, I really liked it!  I’m looking forward to going back to school and navigating campus and class with Percy.  My psychology professor is a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes.  Her dog will be in class and I’m certain Percy will be a great role model for the puppy!”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I feel so much safer crossing the street.  I need to concentrate so much more when I use a cane, but with Percy I can be a bit more relaxed. I know I can trust him to avoid obstacles.”

Were there any training highlights?  “I attended training on the Guiding Eyes campus with other experienced guide dog users. The entire staff and the instructors were super supportive.  My “test drive” or Juno walk with Percy was a highlight!  I was so happy to have him.  We took walks to get coffee while in training, which was a lot of fun.”

Meet Guide Dog Percy

Percy was our first Guiding Eyes dog. From the very beginning it was obvious that Percy was sensitive and sweet and loved his food treats with a passion. Lucky for us newbies he wanted to please us and loved to work right from the beginning, which made him fun to take everywhere we went. We loved how much he loved being with us and how fun it was to take him with us everywhere. We had so many fun adventures together! We went to the mall and it was a crowded day.  There were many people whistling to get his attention and reaching out to pet him. He didn’t react to them. We kept moving and he made sure to keep checking in just like he always did. His favorite time was at night, (no matter where we were),  when he would cuddle in Ellie’s arms or be on the floor right next to her. There is something so special about Percy and the way he looks at his person, that is so sweet. We are so happy he found his forever person and wish them both the very best!

Ellie and Jennifer Butler, Puppy Raisers of Percy

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