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Cindy and Goodman

Meet Graduate Cindy

Cindy sits with black lab guide dog for formal portraitGraduate Team: Cindy & Goodman
About the Team: Goodman, a male black Lab, is Cindy’s 2nd Guiding Eyes guide dog
Location:  Gaithersburg, Maryland
Training: December 2022 On-Campus

Cindy lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with two cats, Blue and Maria, who have already grown fond of Goodman. Cindy, a self-proclaimed thrill seeker, enjoys having fun and adventuring, even skydiving a couple of times. Cindy also likes hiking, spending time in and around the water, and traveling. She is a benefits counselor, certified through The Social Security Administration, where she works part-time. Cindy is the recording secretary of the Guiding Eyes Graduate Council. She also serves as President of Capital Area Guide Dog Users, a community of people with guide dogs from Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, is also a member of DAR, hosts zoom calls for the American Council for the Blind several nights a week and is on the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities where she focuses on pedestrian safety.  In addition to all that, she also enjoys being involved with the Guiding Eyes Montgomery Puppy Raising Region.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Thank God for Goodman. The day I returned home with him, my retired guide, Gardenia, passed away. With her death I couldn’t have done this without him. He’s so good and has such a calming effect. He supplied exactly what I needed. He’s never more than two inches away from me. He’s such a good dog. Sometimes he puts his paw on my foot or when I’m working, he puts his paw on the back of my hand. I love him so much. He’s also so tolerant. One day we were stuck in the pouring rain for over an hour, waiting for Paratransit who said they would call an Uber, but didn’t. Then the Uber that showed up didn’t want to take us because we were wet. He was patient through all of it.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “The reason I chose Guiding Eyes is because I wanted to know my raisers. I wanted to be able to ask them questions about my guide, like what their favorite toys are, what they like to do, what bothers them, etc. I wanted support from the school and the knowledge that I could stay in touch with my classmates. I still have a relationship with my classmates from October 2012. Also, it doesn’t feel like my dog was trained as a tool. He isn’t one and he works fabulously. The three biggest reasons are that I wanted support from the school, a dog that was good at targeting, and to know my puppy raisers.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I don’t have to think when I walk out my door. I can just tell my dog where we’re going, turn right and head on out. I don’t have to worry about obstacles. If there’s an obstacle in the way, he’ll go around it. Having Goodman gives me freedom. When I’m working, I have to go see clients and go into office buildings and there’s one I go into all the time. I never got lost with my first guide dog Gardenia. I like knowing that when I go into a building, he’ll know what we’re doing. He is amazing at targeting and so good at finding locations. When I brought him home, he found the house on the second try. He’s so good at it. The first time I walked out the door I knew he had it. He’s got it.”  

Were there any training highlights?  “I loved all of it. Michelle Tang was my trainer, and she was awesome. The entire two weeks was one total highlight. I liked the whole thing! If I wanted to do something or go somewhere, we went. Since it was my second dog, I kind of knew what to expect and I knew it would be an adventure. When we went to Manhattan, I took Michelle to Macy’s, and we waited online to see Santa Clause with Goodman. It was nice to be able to show the trainer how to get there! Every day I couldn’t wait to go out to train. It was such a fun adventure.”

Meet Guide Dog Goodman

DOB:  4/28/2020
Litter ID: 4GG20
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Lizzie
Stud: Vassar
Region:  Rhode Island, Eastern MA
Regional Puppy Instructor: Maureen Hollis, Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser:  The Trottier Family, Liam Bourn, Becky Provensal, Carmel & Susan Fitzgibbon & Family
Facebook: Rhode Island Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Eastern Mass Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raisers…

He quickly caught on to “get busy”. Comfortable in getting instructions. Did not like sliding doors at the bank. He did not eat until the command “free” was given. Never got on the furniture, excellent house manners, comfortable with other dogs and in the marketplace. Early on, he knew how to fetch the newspaper and return home from our long walks. He was a sniffer and does like the water. He is mild mannered and confident. A most memorable and rewarding experience.  ~ Trottier Family

Goodman has given us so much joy in the time that we had him. He can only be described as an enthusiastic, energetic, and loyal companion. He enjoyed traveling, going to class, learning new skills, and evening walks. He sported a winter coat and received many compliments when wearing it, and he amused us with his plethora of facial expressions. We are so thankful for the time we had with him, but we are thrilled with his newfound partnership, and we wish him and Cindy the best of luck as they embark in this new endeavor.  ~ Fitzgibbons Family

Having been born in the height of the pandemic, Goodman’s journey to becoming a guide dog looked quite different than many pups I have raised. With limited social interactions and public access training, he struggled a bit at first. While it quite literally took a village to raise him, he learned more and more from each person and beat the odds! One of Goodman’s greatest traits is his strong will and I could always tell how hard he was trying. When Goodman wasn’t working as hard as he could, he was always up for a good time. Some of our favorite activities were going for boat rides and playing at the beach. He is certainly one of the goofiest puppies I’ve raised and always kept me laughing. Goodman holds a special place in my heart as he was the last Guiding Eyes puppy I raised and I am so incredibly proud of him and know he will make an amazing guide dog and best friend. Best of wishes to Cindy and Goodman!  ~ Becky Provensal

Photos of the Team…