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MMeunier

Carl and Tigger

Meet Graduate Carl

Carl and yellow Lab Tigger sit for team portrait against back drop of stained glass windowsGraduate Team: Carl and Tigger
About the Team: Tigger, a male yellow Lab, is Carl’s 4th guide dog
Hometown: Brighton, Massachusetts
Training: March 2023 Home Training

Carl was born in North Tonawanda, New York, but at a very early age his family moved to Massachusetts where he was raised. He earned his B.A. degree in communications from Emerson College and M.P.A. from Suffolk University. Carl has dual sensory losses of vision and hearing due to Usher Syndrome, a genetic disorder, which provides him valuable insight into his work as the State House ADA Coordinator for the Bureau of the State House. It is his role to ensure that all programs, services, and activities at the Massachusetts State House are fully accessible to people of all abilities. Carl is active in the guide dog community serving as President of a guide dog user group. In addition, he also serves as the Chair for an audio-description project for the American Council for the Blind. He is married to Megan, a college professor at Boston University, where she teaches writing and rhetoric.  Carl’s interests include film, reading and regular visits to Cape Cod. Tigger is Carl’s fourth Guiding Eyes dog. His prior guide dog Merrick was retired after many years of service and remains a beloved member of the family.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Tigger is my bouncy boy. He has lots of energy and enthusiasm. He plays as well as works hard, like it is the very first time he is doing so. He provides a nice balance of work and play.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I originally heard about Guiding Eyes’ great reputation through an instructor who I had the pleasure of knowing. I learned how their guide dogs provided a great sense of independence, mobility, and freedom.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Having a guide dog opens up the world because unlike a cane, the guide dog is a conversation starter. People are much more comfortable approaching me since having a guide dog.”

Were there any training highlights? “One highlight occurred at a Starbucks. Our trainer, Kathy, was working on food distraction issues.  She purchased a muffin, as part of our role play work and training, and asked me ‘can I feed your dog?’. Several people in the coffeehouse, not realizing that Kathy was role playing, got very upset and spoke up not understanding what was actually going on. I also recall on our way to subway training, Tigger nailed his work role, and once rewarded he was literally prancing as he was very proud of himself.”

Meet Guide Dog Tigger

DOB:  11/1/2020
Litter ID: 1TT20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Dallas
Stud: Yarmouth
Littermates: Tahoe
Region:  Southern Tier NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: Cassie Houghton
Puppy Raiser:  Elizabeth Williams & Family
Facebook: Southern Tier NY Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Tigger is much like the character in Winnie the Pooh. He’s enthusiastic, confident, persistent, and outgoing. Unlike the character, Tigger doesn’t bounce, except when playing fetch! I’ll always remember his excitement and the drool he produces when fetching. Some of my favorite memories with Tigger took place in my 1st grade classroom. The class became puppy raisers to Tigger! He was a popular topic for writing assignments, a stellar reading buddy, and the best snuggler. To Tigger’s new partner: When you need a smile, Tigger will do something comical. When you need a hug, he’ll come near. When you need an adventure, he’ll be ready to explore. Tigger did all this for me, and now, he can do the same for you. Cheers to starting your new adventure together! ~ Elizabeth Williams, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…