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Dawn and Meadow

Thank you to our generous June Graduate Sponsors…

“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 June Residential Training Graduate Dawn

Graduate Dawn sits in a shady spot with smiling guide dog MeadowGraduate Team: Dawn and Meadow
About the Team: Meadow, a female yellow Lab, is Dawn’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Louise Thompson

Dawn retired after many years as a rehabilitation teacher for the blind and visually impaired. She worked with state services for the elderly and a school for the blind in her hometown. She also managed a Randolph Sheppard Vending facility for 25 years and is currently an independent Pampered Chef consultant. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen preparing good, healthy meals and baking.  She also enjoys reading, music and doing or watching anything that’s dog related. Although over the years Dawn has travelled widely, she now stays closer to home and her elderly father.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Meadow is a hardworking, playful, loveable dog and she’s a fast learner. She loves to work and wants to please; she loves to give you gifts!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog at Guiding Eyes? “The atmosphere at the school, the friends I make through the graduate council, the class training and other graduates I interact with, is what brings me back each time. The staff is so professional, but training is still personal. When I come back, whether it’s for training or meetings, it’s like coming home. Many of the people I first met in training years ago are still there; the continuity and the love everyone shows for the dogs and the partnerships that develop is very evident.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I’m never alone, and whether I’m traveling, in my house or at the store, I have a companion – a best friend. Traveling with a dog as opposed to a cane brings with it the responsibility of loving and caring for another being. I travel faster, cross roads straighter and just feel more independent. I also feel more included, because people in general like dogs and they’ll talk to me because of my guide dog, whereas they might not have otherwise.”

Were there any training highlights? “Meadow connected with me so quickly. Also, I enjoyed the more one-on-one style training offered this time around with the modified class program. It felt more individualized, as we didn’t do as much as a group.”


Meet Guide Dog Meadow

Meadow is an old soul. I cannot imagine how I would have gotten through COVID without her. For months and months, it was just the two of us in the house. She was a comfort. Before COVID she came to the college with me every day. She would lay in the front of the class while I taught and then after class, I would free her and many students would give her a belly rub. If you say ‘belly rub’ she will be about it. There were two occasions when people came down to my office to say, “I’m having such a hard day, can I visit with Meadow?” Meadow knows when to play, when to cuddle, and when to work. She’s a good girl! Meadow loves a laundry basket.  She has very nice house manners, but she likes to cuddle.  She is very affectionate.  I’m so happy that you will have her. I hope that she provides everything you need and that you love her as much as I do.

Lauren Doninger, Puppy Raiser of Meadow

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