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Bhavani and Anya

Thank you to our generous April Graduate Sponsor…

In memory of my wife, Barbara Woods, who loved dogs and Guiding Eyes. Through our entire marriage, we have had dogs, usually two at a time, and enjoyed them! Sponsoring the graduating class is a perfect way to honor her memory.

– Richard Woods

Meet Graduate Bhavani

Graduate Bhavani and black Lab guide dog AnyaGraduate Team:  Bhavani and Anya
About the Team:  Anya, a female black Lab, is Bhavani’s first guide dog
Hometown:  Coeurdalene, Idaho
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Michelle Tang
April On-Campus Training

Bhavani attended Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado. For several years, Bhavani participated in the Idaho Commission for the Blind’s Business Enterprise Program, managing her own vending machine route. She currently has a marketing position and is enjoying working from home. Bhavani previously lived in Alaska and has traveled extensively to various destinations including Hawaii, Kentucky, Seattle and New York City. She has two children, a 19-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. She likes outdoor adventures, such as hiking and kayaking.  She also enjoys reading mysteries, cooking and doing craft projects with her daughter.   

How would you describe your guide dog? “Anya is fun and has lots of energy! She goes with the flow, but gets excited when she sees the harness and knows we are going somewhere.  She is very affectionate and loves to curl up in my lap when I sit on the floor.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Initially I was attracted to the Running Guides program at Guiding Eyes, as well as the Home Training option.  Since my initial inquiry, my circumstances changed, and I was able to train at Guiding Eyes in New York.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Since getting Anya, I feel much more confident going out on my own. I appreciate not having to rely on others as much. I can walk faster and more safely. I enjoy going for walks with her on the bike path near my home.  Anya needs the exercise too, so I get out a lot more!”

Were there any training highlights? “The entire training experience was wonderful! I enjoyed the time to focus and learn. After just a few days Anya and I bonded, and she knew she was mine! I learned to trust her, closing my eyes and resisting the urge to rely on the small amount of vision I have.  Suddenly I was able to travel routes more smoothly and quickly!  I realized the opportunities I’ll have and what is possible with Anya guiding me.  A highlight for me was when we took a hike on some nearby trails.”

Meet Guide Dog Anya

When Covid hit hard in March 2020, I told my Regional Manager that we could take a pup if any needed to be moved unexpectedly due to COVID. It seemed like we received 4 month old Anya within hours. Right from the start, I knew that she is special. She’s a quick learner and is quite self-assured and peppy. And she has the most beautiful and adoring eyes. I was worried that the lockdown would have set her back but when the world opened back up, she didn’t miss a beat. She’s never met a person – or a surface – that she doesn’t like. She is a lovely dog and I’m so happy that she was matched with a lovely person!

Janet Newcity, Puppy Raiser of Anya

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