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Claire & Patty

Meet Home Training Graduate Claire

With Claire's arm around Patty, the new team pose happily togethersGraduate Team: Claire & Patty
About the Team: Patty, a female yellow Lab, is Claire’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Round Rock, Texas
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Michael Goehring

Claire will begin her senior year of college in the spring of 2021. Working towards earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Management keeps her enormously busy, but when she is lucky enough to find some spare time, Claire enjoys reading (mysteries and other genres), browsing Netflix and hanging out with her friends. With Patty by her side, Claire looks forward to all their adventures to come.  

How would you describe your guide dog? “Patty’s a cute little dog – very affectionate. She likes to sit with me whenever possible and often extends her paw so I can ‘shake’ or just hold it. She is very vocal; talks to me all the time and tends to snore. She loves playing with toys, car rides and going outside. She really enjoys going places, especially somewhere new or a place with stairs. For some reason, she really enjoys going up and down stairs!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I always loved dogs and heard good things about guide dogs. When I looked into it, I was told of the top 2 or 3 schools, but it was recommended that I look at what I want out of a school. I liked that there are field reps outside of New York and help with vet bills. When my first guide Dania contracted Lyme disease, Guiding Eyes and the Vet Department were very supportive.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “You definitely miss a guide dog when you don’t have one. Using a cane is very different from a dog. A guide dog makes me feel more confident, because with the cane I’m likely to miss things that a dog is more apt to find. Yes, they are your guide dog, but they also become your best friend. When she’s not working, she’s spoiled for sure. I love animals and dogs; besides the confidence, the companionship is a big part of it.”

Were there any training highlights? “Near my dorm, around the block, there are a lot of street crossings. She was really good at stopping at all the curbs and dealing with changes between the sidewalks. We went through a difficult crossing; it was something new and unfamiliar to both of us, but she did really well. My first time getting a guide dog was as a residential student, I liked being with the other people in class, but in Home Training, it was nice to train directly on campus, getting to know the area together and having one on one training.”

Meet Guide Dog Patty

Guide dog PattyPatty, (aka PattyCake), was a little love.  It is a privilege to be entrusted with these beautiful dogs and it has indeed been a privilege to have been a part of Patty’s life.  Staff brought her out to me and said, “This one’s really sweet”.  They were 100% right.  Patty could go anywhere and I could rely on her to stay quiet and settle at my feet.  Our first time at Fresh Market, she walked by the meat aisle perfectly after only a couple of passes. Early in her training, I said I had to get my coffee and when I turned, she was sitting in her “Place”. I hadn’t told her to do so, but that’s what we had practiced.  Playing fetch in the pond with a few other GEB dogs was a big highlight for us. She would do a big high jump right at the edge to jump in. I also loved our nature walks together.  I hope Patty gets her paws massaged, (that became a daily ritual), and a little blanket to cuddle with, because she loves that.  Throughout our time together I always thought she was going to make a great companion for someone.  Enjoy her and love her.  She is truly special.  I love you, Patty!

Rose Doheny, Puppy Raiser of Patty

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

Meet our other recent guide dog team graduates. Click here!

Friends and Family:  Watch this video to learn more about  Working with a Guide Dog Team.