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Christian and Gabe

Meet Graduate Christian

Christian on outdoor bench - yellow Lab Gabe sits between his feetGraduate Team:  Christian and Gabe
About the Team:  Gabe, a male yellow Lab, is Christian’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Schenectady, New York
Training: October 2022 Home Training

Christian was born and raised in San Diego, CA, but moved to upstate New York in 2017, not only for a change in his life direction, but also to enjoy a change in seasons. He has a degree in Music with Mariachi specialization. He attends Schenectady County Community College, enrolled in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. After graduation he would love to take what he has learned to Mexico to do more intensive training. His goal is to return to NYS and honor his Hispanic heritage by opening an authentic Mexican restaurant, with catering and a tortillaria. He is a musician and harpist, and when on the West Coast played as a soloist for weddings, or at Mexican get-togethers and mini concerts with different Latin and Mariachi bands, with whom he has traveled all over the U.S. and Mexico.

How would you describe your guide dog? “To this day Gabe has been great! Very energetic and very vocal. He’s always willing to work and please. He loves to cuddle on my lap on the couch, and sometimes even gets in between me and my girlfriend because he wants all the attention.  He seems to be a little more of a sensitive personality compared to my first guide dog. He also carries this “happy go lucky dog” spirit with him and everyone at school sees it.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  My first guide dog Barnes also came from Guiding Eyes and I like the philosophy and training methods they use with their dogs. I also like the support they offer including the vet hotline, graduate funds, and direct access to trainers.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “First of all, nothing Is better than having your partner in crime with you. They are your companion that always stands by you regardless of anything, which shows true loyalty. Not only have they kept me safe but also filled my heart with more love, compassion, and true understanding of family. These dogs are true therapeutic animals because they are not only great listeners but also a constant reminder of how we need to take a moment and enjoy the life we have now.”

Were there any training highlights? “Since I am on dialysis AND going to school full time, I love the Home Training because it allowed us to fit my training to my schedule. I don’t particularly have a highlight because I enjoyed every minute of the training, but if I had to pick a moment it would be getting to know Gabe; his habits, personality, and his likes and dislikes. Also, taking a refresher course on all the training techniques I learned with Barnes and how they apply or are different with Gabe. I enjoyed Kathy’s company and all the training we did throughout the community.”


Meet Guide Dog Gabe

DOB:  1/23/2020
Litter ID: 4G20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: MacKenzie
Stud: Jasper
Littermates: Goldie, Griffin, Graham, Gary, Gregg, Gerald
Region:  Lower Westchester, Erie NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: Elizabeth Vacchiano, Cassie Houghton
Puppy Raiser:  The Landless Family, The Weronski Family, Matthew Nayda
Facebook: Lower Westchester Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Erie NY Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Gabe was with us for a year as a young pup. Our journey began right at the start of the covid pandemic, so it was challenging to say the least! But Gabe was a real star and quickly became a part of our busy family and best buddy to our black lab Mooshu. When he transferred after a year to a new raiser, he left a huge hole in our hearts. But we’re excited to see his progress.  ~Simon Landless, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…