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Brady and Conway

Thank you to our generous August Graduates 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 August Residential Training Graduate Brady

Graduate Brady and guide Conway

Graduate Team:  Brady and Conway
About the Team:  Conway, a male black Lab is Brady’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Norman, Oklahoma
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Deanna Lentini   (August Residential Class)

Brady grew up on his family’s ranch which has both horses and cattle.  He attended the Oklahoma School for the Blind from grades 5-12.  Brady works for “Low Vision Strategies” where he provides administrative support.  The agency provides in-home rehabilitation for individuals with low vision.  Brady learned to ride horses as a teenager and continues to ride.  He especially likes trail riding, a hobby he and his mother share and enjoy together.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Conway is almost 2 ½ years old.  He is very friendly and loveable.  He likes it when I hold his bone for him while he chews it.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “While attending the Oklahoma School for the Blind, I had a teacher with a guide dog from Guiding Eyes.  I expressed interest in getting my own guide dog and she encouraged me to research Guiding Eyes, as well as other guide dog schools, to find the best fit for me.  I determined Guiding Eyes was the school for me and got my first guide dog, Gibson, when I was 18.  Gibson and I worked together for 6 ½ years.  When Gibson retired, I returned to Guiding Eyes and got Diego in 2013.  Diego is now retired and enjoys living on my parent’s farm.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “A guide dog definitely offers independence and companionship.  When using a cane, people are quick to assume I need assistance.  Whereas with a guide dog, not only am I more independent, but others perceive me as independent and capable.  Plus, a dog is a great icebreaker!  Most people love dogs and enjoy hearing about my guide dog.  A dog has a much better personality than a cane!”

Were there any training highlights?   “I enjoyed every day at Guiding Eyes while training.  In addition to getting to know Conway and learning to work together, it was fun to socialize with the four other students in my class.  A highlight of the training was a trip to nearby Ridgefield, CT to attend a movie at the Prospector Theater.   At the theater we had access to Assisted Listening Devices. These headsets provide descriptive audio narration during the film, describing scenery, costumes etc.   We were able to enjoy the film while our dogs learned to relax in the theater.”

Meet Guide Dog Conway

Conway never seemed to get tired of working and he wanted nothing more than to make us happy and snuggle at the end of the day. When he was 9 months old Conway went with us to the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.  It was an amazing, yet overwhelming place for people, let alone a puppy, but he took 2 breaks and showed a clear interest in going back in for more. Our favorite times were going to the park for a game of fetch. Seeing the joy he had in running and then knowing he did a good job by bringing the ball back was fun for all of us. Conway brought a smile to our faces with his exuberant greetings every time we came back in the room. That’s a lot of smiles. As much as we’ll always miss Conway we couldn’t be happier in knowing that he’s found his purpose and such a wonderful home!

Katie and Carina Wadsley, Puppy Raisers of Conway


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