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Caterina and Filo

Meet Graduate Caterina

August On-Campus Training
Graduate Caterina and yellow Lab guide dog FiloGraduate Team:  Caterina and Filo
About the Team:  Filo, a male yellow Lab, is Caterina’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Maitland, Florida
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Andrea Martine  

Caterina is deafblind and comes to Guiding Eyes’ Specialized Training Program for her first guide dog, Filo. She lives with her family in Florida and is employed at her local Macy’s Department Store. When she has the opportunity, Caterina enjoys going out of town and visiting other areas very much. She also enjoys arts and crafts, especially knitting. She likes to give back by creating knit hats, which she provides to patients who may be battling cancer or those who are not able to easily afford such items.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Everything is good with him, and we have a fun time together. He enjoys going out and playing with my Dad and he also loves to sleep! He went to my work with his harness on and did a very good job. In harness he is quiet and serious – he straight up knows what he needs to do to go different places, but it’s a big change out of harness! He’s young and sometimes still likes to act like a puppy. I’m teaching him to focus, but it’s more challenging out of harness.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I heard of the Guiding Eyes program for the deafblind and found it interesting. I thought it sounded really cool and it seemed like it could be the best for me. When the program was explained to me, I learned about living with a guide dog and that for those with vision loss, it could be helpful with balance. I had a friend who is deafblind and based on her story it seemed a guide dog could be beneficial. I had pet dogs before, but I had never known that I could get a service dog.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “We both still have learning to do. I’m learning what to do – the motions and actions. My instructor Andrea worked with me, teaching Filo obedience. I try to remember how Andrea would do it and what I need to do. Filo and I are learning together.”

Were there any training highlights? “I never experienced anything like it before. It was very interesting, and I was very happy and excited to be in New York to learn these techniques. At first, I felt awkward, but as I continued, I got more and more comfortable with Filo.”

Meet Guide Dog Filo

DOB: 7/28/2019
Litter ID:  2F319
Color/Breed: Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Tiara
Stud: Ryan
Littermates:  Flower, Farina, Fitz, Figi, Felice
Region:  Cleveland East
Regional Puppy Instructor: Macy Nauman (Leslie Stephens)
Puppy Raiser: The Slover Family
Facebook: Ohio Puppy Raisers

Filo is the most amazing dog I’ve ever met. From day one, Filo was such a character, always making me smile over some silly antic. He had a collar that summarized his puppy-hood perfectly, it said, “I solemnly swear, I’m up to no good!”. Truer words have never been spoken from a pup! Yet, through his endless mischief, he proved to be a a hard worker, brilliant at mastering skills, and always willing to share a kiss to make me feel his endless and loyal love. Filo loved going to the park, absolutely loved mud, enjoyed running through snow, shopping at Target, and getting pup-a-chino’s at Starbucks. He knew how to party and play, and he knew when to focus on his work. I enjoyed his silly goofball personality the most! Thank you Caterina for loving him for me. He will always hold a piece of my heart in his, please give him extra hugs and kisses every day from me!

Danielle Slover, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the team…