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Chris and Westley

Thank you to our generous January 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 Graduate Chris

Graduate Chris and yellow Lab guide dog WestleyGraduate Team:  Chris and Westley
About the Team:  Westley, a male yellow Lab, is Chris’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Greenville, South Carolina
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Deanna Lentini
January On-Campus Training

Chris and her husband have been married for 23 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  Two of their grandchildren live nearby, and Chris helps care for them every day.  She is an active member of her church and enjoys activities and trips with her “Red Hat Society” friends. Chris and her husband started a support group for adults with sight impairment and their spouses. The group enjoys socializing and supporting each other at monthly get-togethers. 

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Westley is perfect!  He is 2 ½ years old and a beautiful caramel color. He fits in well with my pets and recently retired guide dog, Keith. Although Westley and I just started working together, we’ll be traveling soon to North Carolina to support a family member having surgery. I know he is up to the challenge!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “In 2007, I attended a conference with other women from my church.  While we were there, I encountered a woman and her Guiding Eyes guide dog. I was so impressed, I immediately applied to Guiding Eyes for a guide of my own!”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “I got my first Guiding Eyes guide dog, Fellow, in 2007.  I credit him, and each of my 2 guides since, with allowing me to walk with my head held high.  I no longer need to focus on the ground with each step I take.  With my guide dog, I’m much more independent and aware of the world around me.”

Were there any training highlights?   “As soon as I began working with Westley, I knew we had chemistry and he was the perfect fit for me. Although I am an experienced guide dog user, each time I return to Guiding Eyes for a new guide I learn something new. This was the first time I trained in the snow! The development and training of the dogs is always advancing, as evidenced by the new terms I was taught for communicating with Westley. Throughout my 15-year relationship with Guiding Eyes, I have appreciated the consistency of the staff and trainers and our ability to build a rapport with each other.”

Meet Guide Dog Westley

Westley was an easy puppy to raise. He was calm and easy going, and proud of himself when he learned a new skill or accomplished a difficult task. Westley was eager to please and connected with everyone he spent time with. He loved any adventure. Swimming was a favorite activity of his and he would happily take a dip in any weather. He also loved picking my kids up from school. His favorite command was “Go say Hi!” He got good pets AND a treat. We all hope you enjoy Westley as much as we did! He’s the best!!

Carrie Trieu, Puppy Raiser of Westley


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