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Caitlin and Gemini

Meet Graduate Caitlin

Caitlin sits in upholstered chair with black Lab guide Gemini for team portraitGraduate Team: Caitlin and Gemini
About the Team:  Gemini, a female black Labrador, is Caitlin’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Location:  Fort Collins, Colorado
Training: February On-Campus Training

Caitlin recently returned to our Yorktown campus to train with Gemini, her 3rd guide dog from Guiding Eyes. Back home in Colorado, Cait volunteers with the Larimer County Humane Society. She not only enjoys the animals she cares for, but also contributes by assisting the media team with the Humane Society’s social media accounts and publicity. Cait has a passion for writing and advocating for those with disabilities. She is combining those two interests by creating a blog, where she can share her experiences with Gemini. Cait enjoys the companionship of partnering with a guide dog and is enthusiastic and active in creating awareness of guide dog users. She and her husband share their home with Gemini and 2 cats.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Gemini is two dogs in one! When she is in her harness, she is driven and hardworking. Gemini is very enthusiastic about her job and learns very quickly!  When she is not working, she is just sweet, loving, silly, and playful!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “Although I live in Colorado, I have family in N.Y. near the Guiding Eyes School. Initially this proximity attracted me to Guiding Eyes. However, Guiding Eyes has become an extended family too! Each time I return to the campus, I am reminded of how dedicated and passionate the staff and trainers are about their jobs and those they serve. They work tirelessly, providing their students with high quality guide dogs and an exceptional experience.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “My decision to get a guide dog is the single best thing have done for myself. My guide dogs have impacted my life immensely. Primarily they provide me with freedom and independence.  Secondary benefits to that independence are my increased self-confidence and self-esteem. They have fueled a passion in me for advocating for the rights and access of those with guide dogs. I am involved with the National Federation of the Blind and the National Association of Guide Dog Users. I am active in my community, creating awareness of and opportunities for guide dog users.  For example, I recently participated in an in-service training with the local police department.”

Were there any training highlights? “The whole 12 days of training was a highlight and flew by! Gemini and I bonded immediately. There was a day during training when I was not feeling well. Gemini laid down next to me and stayed by my side.  At that moment, it was clear she understood she and I will care for each other.  There were 4 students in the class, and Guiding Eyes did a wonderful job catering to the needs of each of us. My classmates and I bonded quickly, and we continue to keep in touch and support each other.”

Meet Guide Dog Gemini

DOB:  3/31/2021
Litter ID: 7G21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Fortune
Stud: Dasher
Littermates: Grayson, Gibbs, Gatsby, Gonzo, General, Gideon, Guthrie, Grover
Region:  New Hampshire
Regional Puppy Instructor: Lisa Bumbalo      
Puppy Raiser:  Chur and Jeff Masors
Facebook: New Hampshire Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Gemini is so special. We only had her with us for 5 days when I emailed our Regional Puppy Instructor to tell her that ‘Gemini is fabulous!’ She learned things so quickly. I sometimes feel like she raised herself. All the folks who puppy sat for her said that they didn’t want to return her to us. Our wish for the two of you is to enjoy a happy and productive life together.  ~ Chur and Jeff Masors

Photos of the Team…