Graduate Team – Barbara and Flanders
Meet March Residential Training Graduate Barbara
Graduate Team: Barbara and Flanders
About the Team: Flanders, a male yellow Lab, is Barbara’s 14th guide dog and 1st from Guiding Eyes
Hometown: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Stephanie Koret
Barbara is an experienced guide dog user, having received her first in 1972 and many since, but Flanders is her first Guiding Eyes guide dog. Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Metro State College of Denver in Colorado. She also trained as a medical transcriptionist and has worked in that role for several years at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. In her free time, Barbara likes to shop and read mysteries.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Flanders is a very handsome yellow Lab. He is tall and has a really soft coat. He is a very quick learner and eager to please. He is adjusting very well; even at his first full day in the office he did great!”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Flanders is my fourteenth guide dog, but first from Guiding Eyes. A friend of mine had Hope, a black Lab from Guiding Eyes and I always found Hope to be very impressive. My last guide dog passed away suddenly, and I thought it might be a good time for a change.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “There is nothing like having a guide dog! Working as a team with my guide dog feels very natural. I am more independent and confident with Flanders. When I was in college, I was able to get around campus so much more quickly with a dog. I also find people are friendlier and willing to approach me when I have a dog. I enjoy learning about my dog and developing that special bond and relationship between the two of us.”
Were there any training highlights? “Training was fantastic! All of it was a highlight. The staff at Guiding Eyes is very friendly and supportive. The food was fabulous. We did so many things, from riding the commuter train to enjoying lunch at Hudson Hil’s Café. I found the training to be both hard work and relaxing. Since this was my first time at Guiding Eyes, I learned some new training methods. I really like using the ‘touch’ technique. It came in handy when Flanders and I were at the vet recently for a ‘meet & greet’. I was able to keep Flanders focused amongst lots of distractions in the waiting area, using ‘touch’, and of course, treats!”
Meet Guide Dog Flanders
- DOB: 9/20/2018
- Dog ID: 3F318
- Color/Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Male
- Brood: Amelia
- Stud: Florian
- Littermates: Ferris, Finney, Fortune, Fargo, Fame, Filo, Freda, Farrah
- Region: Shenandoah
- Regional Manager: Leslie Stephens
- Puppy Raiser: Mr. and Mrs. Phillip McAllister
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Shenandoah Puppy Raisers
Flanders was an inherently happy, bright pup who developed into a confident adult. Participating in various outreach activities he was amazing interacting with elementary school students and at Orvis store gift wrap events. While on a puppy sit, he met farm animals and horses were his favorite. Whether on outings at local stores, exploring a university campus, meandering a park, he stayed connected. Flanders visited Dulles International airport with classmate (Vanna), and experienced shuttle bus rides and meandering crowds, confidently adapting to challenging new situations. During the COVID-19 holding period, Flanders lived with former Guiding Eyes Labradors (Ferris and Zipper) and was a wonderful house guest, experiencing home office and group meeting situations. Flanders was a pleasure to raise and our hope is that he will be an outstanding guide and faithful companion. We wish the new team safe travels and wonderful adventures together.
Philip and Kathleen McAllister, Puppy Raisers of Flanders
Enjoy these photos of the team and Flanders 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.