Meet Home Training Graduate David
Graduate Team: David and Carver
About the Team: Carver, a male black Lab, is David’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Nikki Wentz
David returns to Guiding Eyes for his second guide dog and lives with his wife, Maggee, also a graduate, and her third Guiding Eyes dog, Doralee. David works out of his home, helping small businesses benefit from various savings programs. He likes shopping, for now mostly online, and getting out for walks. Normally, he enjoys going out dancing or bowling with Maggee, but David notes that the limitations of the pandemic have contributed to a new affinity for Netflix. Having been two years between guide dogs, David is clearly appreciative of all that Carver brings to his everyday life.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Carver’s totally awesome; he’s responsive and affectionate. Whenever I get down on his level to put on his harness, I must remember to prepare for a lick in the face. He’s a happy and well-adjusted dog. He’s always thinking; you can almost tell what’s going on in his mind, like, ‘what do I want to do next?’ He’s so well trained and well behaved, it’s quite impressive.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Maggee has been a graduate of Guiding Eyes for almost 20 years and the staff has been great. They are very responsive to questions and phone calls. If we have any concerns about health, the Vet staff is excellent and the assistance fund for graduates is great. Nikki was an awesome instructor and always responsive to my concerns and what I needed to get by, whether practicing getting in and out of cars, ‘traffic checks’ or filling me in on newer techniques like targeting. The overall communication is geared towards having a successful team.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “My life has improved quite a bit. These dogs are 80% guide dog and 20% emotional support, just brightening things up. It gives you positive energy, to have that face looking up at you all the time. The time I’ve spent with Carver has been great. Walking with more speed and confidence is an incredible feeling. I tell him where I want to go, he takes me there and I can trust him. It’s been really positive; really uplifting.”
Were there any training highlights? “I had heard about ‘traffic checks’ so getting to practice that during this training was a big highlight. We went to a Walmart parking lot to practice with a grocery cart, and while there, a car began to back up nearby and Carver stopped, the way he’s supposed to. I was like, ‘Ok this works! That was great! I know this works now!’ That’s of major importance towards my safety.”
Meet Guide Dog Carver
- DOB: 8/22/18
- Tattoo ID: 6C318
- Color/Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Male
- Brood: Lizzie
- Stud: Carlos
- Littermates: Cairo, Cameron, Candice, Capone, Caddy, Cassidy, Caprice, Celine, Channing
- Region: Catoctin
- Regional Manager: Jeanyne Gembarski
- Puppy Raiser: Jeanyne Gembarski
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Catoctin Puppy Raisers
Carver was always ready to do what I needed him to do whether it was sit quietly in his crate while I taught puppy class, work with a new volunteer or work with a raiser on dog distraction. He was such a great teacher of the youngest puppies during playtime. He would always get a toy and entice them to chase him. Carver’s favorite activities was to play with a ball on a rope. He would trot around and let the ball swing back and forth. Sometimes the ball gained momentum and bopped him in the head and it made me laugh. I wish you all the best with Carver as your new guide. He truly is the sweetest dog I’ve raised so far.
Jeanyne Gembarski, Regional Manager and Puppy Raiser of Carver
Enjoy these photos of the team and Carver 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.