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Colleen and Cash

Thank you to our generous May Graduates Sponsor…

“The University of Rhode Island Puppy Raisers Club wishes the graduate teams good luck in their new partnerships!”

Meet May Residential Training Graduate Colleen

Cash sits big and tall beside partner ColleenGraduate Team:  Colleen and Cash
About the Team:  Cash, a male black Lab, is Colleen’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Newcomb, Maryland
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Dan Weesner

Colleen’s first guide dog, Cash, is named appropriately for this accountant, who has owned her own accounting firm for 30 years. In 2010 she started a nonprofit, Chesapeake Bay Sight Foundation, in honor of her late mother, who was also diagnosed with RP. Colleen, who considers the fight for a cure her destiny, is very involved in fundraising activities, such as the annual Dining in the Dark event, where guests are blindfolded, so that they can experience a meal while their vision is impaired. The proceeds fund important research at John Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, a team she is honored to work with. Sadly, both of Colleen’s beloved parents and her greatest support, passed away in 2020. Around the time of their memorial service in Spring 2021, she received the exciting news about Cash, for whom she is so grateful and regards as the joy of her heart. The guide dog who came, just at the right time.  

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Cash is my heart and my eyes. He has such a fun loving, joyful heart. When they opened that door and this dog came in, it was the best moment of my life. I have never known a more beautiful dog – such a statuesque face, long legs and big paws. He’s going to be on the November page of the Guiding Eyes 2022 calendar! He’s so endearing and vivacious.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “My vision loss was progressing and while at a movie theater with friends, I couldn’t make out the stairs in the dark and I fell. I realized that I need help and can’t do this myself.  When I got the call from Guiding Eyes, it made my year.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I’m not fearful of going anywhere by myself. If I’m out at night I feel like he is there to protect me. Cash is very protective; he lives to be my eyes. I can be more independent now – I can go into a store without tripping over something or falling into people. He takes all that fear away.”

Were there any training highlights? “My training at Guiding Eyes was like a wish come true. He seems to understand exactly what you’re saying and if he doesn’t, he tilts his head. He is the most intelligent dog; it’s quite profound. He teaches me! We couldn’t have had a better trainer or Cash a better puppy raiser. I loved having one on one instruction with Dan and he was the perfect trainer for Cash. They have a mutual love between them. I was placed at the exact time, with these exact people, who had the most perfect dog for me.”

Meet Guide Dog Cash

I am so excited for Cash and his new best friend as they embark on their new life together. Cash was such a fun pup to raise. Like all our GEB puppies, he is smart, loving, handsome and always wants to please. But he is also such a funny guy! He made us smile and laugh every day. He would do this adorable head tilt that melted your heart. Cash came to middle school with me several days a week. He was the most popular kid in the school, loved by the students and staff. He could totally go with the flow whether we were in a quiet study hall, in a class, or evacuating the building for a fire drill. Nothing fazed him! Cash loved to join us on any and all adventures! His favorite thing to do was to go hiking and swimming with his humans and when canine buddies came along too, that made it even better. I know you are going to fall in love with this big handsome guy as much as we did! We wish you the very best of luck!

Barb & Garry Paszul, Puppy Raisers of Cash

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