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Craig and Ephram

Meet Graduate Craig

Craig sits in a chair in his home with guide Ephram sitting beside his legs.Graduate Team:  Craig and Ephram
About the Team:  Ephram, a male black Labrador is Craig’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Location:  Rockland, Maine
Training:  February 2024 Home Training

Craig was born and raised in the town of Rockland, on the coast of Maine.  After high school, he attended nursing school in nearby Portland.  As a registered nurse he embraced the ability to work in different locations.  He spent years working in Hawaii, Florida, and Boston as well as closer to home at the Maine Medical Center. Craig enjoys walks around his housing complex and into town to do errands or attend church on Sundays. He appreciates the added independence, safety, and companionship his guide dog brings.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Ephram is wonderful! We bonded right away and are getting along very well.  At home, he is always by my side (or sitting on my feet!) and anxious to play with his favorite squeaky toy.  When it is time to go somewhere and Ephram sees me getting ready, he comes over with his tail wagging and does not hesitate to put his harness on.” 

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Prior to getting my first guide dog, Henrietta, a neighbor had a German Shepherd guide dog from Guiding Eyes.  He spoke highly of both his dog and the school and recommended that I apply.  Henrietta was a wonderful guide for many years. When she passed away, I needed some time to think about if and when to get another guide.  Henrietta enriched my life immensely, and I knew my life would be more complete once I had a new guide.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “With Henrietta, and now Ephram, I am more independent.  When using a cane, I do not like to venture out alone, but I also do not like to have to rely on others. Ephram gives me confidence, safety, and the ability to keep my own schedule.  Just recently he and I took advantage of the nice spring weather and walked for 1 ½ hours by the water. An added bonus, is the wonderful companionship he provides.”

Were there any training highlights? “When I got Henrietta, I trained at the Guiding Eyes campus.  With Ephram, I trained at home for 10 days.  Each experience was wonderful and just what I needed at the time. When my trainer Kathy brought Ephram to me, he and I instantly got along.  He was happy to have me rub his ears and belly and was ready to get to work! Training at home, I observed just how quickly Ephram learns.  He has done a great job learning my routes.  Both of my Guiding Eyes training experiences and dogs have been excellent.  I recommend Guiding Eyes to anyone who can benefit from a guide dog.”

Meet Guide Dog Ephram

DOB:  6/29/2021
Litter ID: 4EE21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Frannie
Stud: Dasher
Littermates: Ed, Enzo, Elliott, Elias, Echo, Elmer, Elroy
Region:  Northern NJ
Regional Puppy Instructor: Elizabeth Vacchiano
Puppy Raiser:  Karen Elliott
Facebook: Northern New Jersey Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Ephram never met a pup or person that he didn’t love. He is the best snuggler and when we pulled out the blankets to lay on the carpet in front of the TV he squeezed between you, your legs or another one of our pups with a groan of complete contentment. Watching Ephram grow and experience the world gave me a renewed appreciation for the simple things in life…it was such a joy to watch him bounce around during his first snow, tilt his head and watch summer raindrops pitter patter on top of leaves, do his cha cha dance as he honed in on just the right busy spot, looked at me so proud when our cat finally accepted him…so many fun memories. We love and miss our “little man”.  ~Karen Elliott

Photos of the Team…