Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Doug and Ned

Meet Graduate Doug

Doug sits next to black Lab guide dog Ned for their team portrait

Graduate Team: Douglas and Ned
About the Team: Ned, a male black Lab, is Doug’s 1st Guide Dog
Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts
Training: April 2024 On-Campus

Doug was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in the social sciences from Portland State University, he served in the Navy. Afterward, he pursued his master’s degree in social work from Boston College, graduating in 1972. He has been a psychotherapist for over fifty-two years and continues to run his private practice part-time. Doug has two adult children. His son is following in his footsteps as a psychotherapist and his daughter is doing clinical work. Doug and his wife of four years, Susan, a retired RN, enjoy family time, travel, and participating in church activities. Doug’s vision loss is due to macular degeneration and glaucoma, and with droll wit, he jokes that he and Susan met on a blind date. Doug is currently writing a book, “The Miraculous Power of Gratitude.” Nowadays, he enjoys swimming and spending time at local beaches. Ned has already visited a few. Doug is a spirited octogenarian who says with his family genetics, he is looking forward to another twenty-plus years with a guide dog by his side.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Ned is a calm, lovable, fun-loving dog. He loves to play with other dogs, but when it becomes time to work, he is easy to correct.  He is already very devoted to me. I take excellent care of Ned, and he takes excellent care of me in return.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “A member of my wife’s church received a guide dog from Guiding Eyes, years before I met Susan. My wife was very impressed by the organization. In addition to donations, she shared Guiding Eyes information, calendars, and marketing materials. It was meant to be that I would reach out to Guiding Eyes!”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Ned has brought me a lot of joy and companionship. I owned six Labradors and I missed that. He has provided me with an even deeper emotional bond than my past family dogs. Ned ensures my continued independence.  He safely navigates me on our walks and in public spaces.”

Were there any training highlights? “Having Kathy Rooney, (Regional GDMI), visiting and interviewing me in my home before attending class, was very special. Dan, my trainer, allowed me to develop an emotional bond with Ned on day one. He showed me the possibilities and the benefits of having a working dog versus a family pet. I also enjoyed my time walking around the Guiding Eyes campus. Four others were in my class, but I was the only one with some vision. We all graduated, looking forward to having a guide dog’s support. After training ended, Kathy Rooney returned to my home and pointed out key areas where I was reinforcing some negative behavior. I followed her suggestions and the behaviors resolved quickly. ”

Meet Guide Dog Ned

DOB:  8/11/2021
Litter ID: 2NN21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Gibby
Stud: Finn
Littermates: Nelson, Nikki, Nathan, Neon, Nestle
Region:  Richmond
Regional Puppy Instructor: Madeline Bruggeman
Puppy Raiser:  Sarah Shaw
Facebook: Richmond Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Ned started out as a little, goofball pup – always attentive and playful! But through the scrambling under my bed (the only dog I’ve raised who liked to use it as a den), to playing tag with his older brother in the backyard, he matured into a beautiful dog and never lost his joy. ~ Sarah Shaw

Photos of the Team…