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Catherine and Vesey

We thank our generous sponsors…

Vesey’s training was sponsored by the McInerney family.

Vesey was named by Goldman Sachs.

Meet Home Training Graduate Catherine

Grad Catherine with arm around black lab guide dog VeseyGraduate Team:  Catherine and Vesey
About the Team:  Vesey, a female black Lab, is Cathy’s 6th Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: A suburb of Cleveland, Ohio
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Lisa Derleth

Catherine is an experienced guide dog user, coming back to Guiding Eyes for her sixth partner. She lives in Ohio with her husband Todd and is enjoying retirement after working for many years as a Food Service Manager. Cathy loves to garden, crediting her participation in her local Garden Club with having taught her so much. An avid crafter, she is also the website admin for a crafting group. Her favorite pastimes include knitting, crocheting, macrame, beading and Kumihimo, a traditional Japanese braiding technique. Her many creative interests were sparked by her involvement in the NFB Krafters Division, which was instrumental in teaching her a variety of crafts over the past 10 years.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She’s totally an angel. She likes to lay on my feet when I’m sitting in my chair. Her work is just so excellent. I think the extra time in training actually helped her. She is more mature than previous dogs I’ve had. She was in the Home Foster Program that was started during Covid and the foster family did an excellent job working on her home behavior.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?   “My initial story starts when I was at college and using a cane.  I met a girl who had a guide dog from Guiding Eyes, and I could see how much easier it was for her to get around. She could walk so much faster, she didn’t bump into things, and she seemed to be able to find the handles of doors. I thought to myself, I want that! At 21 years of age, I went out and got my first guide dog and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “It has given me a lot of self-confidence. It’s given me the ability to have more social interactions with people, because they ask about the dog and initiate conversations. I have the confidence to go anywhere now. I’m not afraid to go somewhere new.”

Were there any training highlights? “This was my first Home Training and an excellent experience. I was stressed thinking about going to the school and wondered if, now that I’m older, would I have the stamina to handle the travel and long days; then they offered me Home Training. Lisa set up a flexible schedule, training in the cooler mornings and evenings because of extreme heat. It was relaxed and I didn’t feel stressed. Training in the home environment can be a good option. There is a 4-way intersection near me with multiple lanes, traffic lights and arrows that I used to find terrifying. Now, with Vesey at my side, crossing this intersection is something I can do with confidence.”

Meet Guide Dog Vesey

Vesey is a smart and delightful dog with a sweet personality. She learned commands quickly and always wanted to please her people. Vesey developed good impulse control, and was especially focused when “working” on outings. She enjoyed going to restaurants, and rarely used the bones or toys we took along, as she is more than happy to sit quietly under a table and watch the action.Vesey was quite entertaining when she wanted to play ball and no one was available. She would toss the ball herself and then chase it. While she would quietly play with toys, lots of toys, it’s the ball tossing that was the most whimsical.

Bobbie and Jim Havel, Puppy Raisers of Vesey

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