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Dana and Bailey

Thank you to our sponsors of June graduates for their generosity…

“Congratulations to the June graduating class and guide teams.  Healthy Vision Association is  proud to support Guiding Eyes and all the great work you do.”

Healthy Vision Association Charity Fund

“We celebrate all of the graduates this day. We appreciate all of your perseverance to arrive at this point in your journey with Guiding Eyes. We dedicate our shared sponsorship of this particular graduation to the memory of Kate Fanti. She was an enthusiastic Guiding Eyes volunteer who brought the understanding of the important mission of Guiding Eyes  to WCDNF. She brought Omar to a club meeting. We miss her and we believe that her giving, friendly manner helped with the preparation of the Guiding Eyes puppies.  She often shared photos and anecdotes about her very special puppies at club meetings.”

Women’s Club Danbury/New Fairfield

Meet Home Training Graduate Dana

Guide dog Bailey looks very professional in his harness sitting with partner DanaGraduate Team:  Dana and Bailey
About the Team: Bailey, a male yellow Lab, is Dana’s 8th Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Kathryn Poallo

Dana is a retired social worker, who’s passion is music. He is a jazz singer and songwriter and is looking forward to singing in clubs again soon. Dana attended a Jazz & Vocal workshop at Hunter College and enjoys learning about the music industry.  He is preparing to publish his music, with intentions of filing it with the United States Library of Congress.  Dana is multilingual because of his love for learning languages. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French and is currently studying Italian.  In 2017 he attended a French Immersion program at Middlebury College.  Dana has hopes of using those languages by traveling to Brazil and Europe in the future.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Bailey is very affectionate!  He is also very smart.  With the Home Training program, Bailey has quickly become familiar with my local routes and neighborhood.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Guiding Eyes is an excellent school and is committed to excellent outcomes.  The trainers are exceptional! I got my first guide from Guiding Eyes in 1968.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog makes it so much easier to get around.  With Bailey I can safely navigate the sidewalks and curbs on my routes.  A guide dog is a wonderful companion too!  I have recently been in touch with the family who now has my retired guide, Aiden.  Aiden and I were together for 11 years and I’m planning to visit Aiden and his family soon.”

Were there any training highlights?  “This was my first Home Training experience.  My instructor, Kathryn, was excellent and creative in her approach to training. Bailey learned to recognize “home” by tape she placed on the sidewalk in front of my building.  I learned to verify the location both by counting steps and listening for the windchimes Kat placed, ensuring Bailey had navigated accurately.”

Meet Guide Dog Bailey

Bailey is a very adventurous and inquisitive boy who lives his life and explores the world with enthusiasm and humor.  He has a special way of making those around him laugh with his silly antics and favorite squeaky toy and was often seen using his body to push, pull, and/or climb over, under or in things simply just for the fun of it. He loved our daily trips to the YMCA where he continually made me proud as he developed the ability to attend a variety of classes and also calmly watch parades of preschoolers move about.  Bailey, with his light hearted, I can do this attitude, will surely bring his strong work ethic and love of life wherever he goes.  I wish team Bailey many miles of happiness and lots of laughter on their journeys!

Dianne Martin, Puppy Raiser of Bailey

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