Darla and Biscotti

Meet Graduate Darla

Darla in red and yellow guide dog Biscotti sit side by side outdoors for team portraitGraduate Team: Darla and Biscotti
About the Team: Biscotti, a female yellow Lab, is Darla’s 1st Guiding Eyes dog
Location:  Tulsa, Oklahoma
Training: April 2023 Home Training

Darla and her husband live in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Darla is retired from a 23 year secretarial career. She’s a member of the Oklahoma Council for the Blind and the American Council for the Blind. In her free time, Darla enjoys listening to many sports, including college football, basketball, softball, and baseball. She’s an avid fan of O.U., Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma, and enjoys listening to Sooners games. Darla also enjoys walking and meeting new people and going to church.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She’s sweet and calm. She’s snuggly and although she sleeps in her crate at night, if I let her, she enjoys lounging on the bed during the day. She also loves the outdoors and laying in the sunshine. I understand from our trainer, Susan, that she likes to play in the pool. We’re going to get her a dog pool so she can play in it. Biscotti doesn’t really care for toys; she would just rather hang out.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I’ve received guide dogs from other schools and have gone through different things, like retiring a dog early. I heard good things about Guiding Eyes, and I thought they would give me a chance. I heard the instructors were nice and really do try to work with you and your circumstances. I also heard from a friend that Guiding Eyes was really wonderful, that the people are understanding and kind, so I decided to apply.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Biscotti is my first guide dog since 2017 and I get out more now than I did with a cane. Having a guide dog helps me meet more people, I think. They come and talk to me more. They see her and say, ‘oh, how sweet!’ We also got on some trails near my home that I like to walk on with her. There are lots of sidewalks around us. I can walk to church with her, and a couple of blocks away there is a restaurant and a donut shop we can go to.”

Were there any training highlights? “I had fun taking Biscotti to church and having her meet all of my friends. We went to my son’s house, and she got to meet his two English Mastiffs, so that was nice too. We didn’t let them play that night, but we let her play in the yard and sniff around so she could get to know the place. She helped me try a new trail that I didn’t think I could do alone. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn’t with her help. We really had fun together while we were in training. I enjoyed working with my instructor Susan. She was very nice and helpful, and she was very patient with me.”

Meet Guide Dog Biscotti

DOB:  4/1/2020
Litter ID: 7BB20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Lace
Stud: Kisco
Littermates: Bishop, Brahms, Ballou, Bart, Bedford, Basil, Bettina, Brava, Luke
Region:  NoVa-South
Regional Puppy Instructor: Janet Bartolotta
Puppy Raiser:  Sami & Roger Glaes
Facebook: NoVa South Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…