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Elisabeth and Emily

Thank you to our generous May Graduates Sponsor…

“The University of Rhode Island Puppy Raisers Club wishes the graduate teams good luck in their new partnerships!”

Meet Home Training Graduate Elisabeth “Betsy”

Grad Betsy and guide dog Emily take a break on the porch during trainingGraduate Team: Elisabeth and Emily
About the Team:  Emily, a female black Lab, is Betsy’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Durham, North Carolina
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Stephanie Koret

Betsy is a retired teacher living in Durham, North Carolina with retired Guiding Eyes guide dog, Token and her new guide, Emily. Betsy enjoys taking long walks with Emily, is an avid reader, and takes singing lessons for fun. A dedicated volunteer & trustee for Foundation Fighting Blindness, Betsy has worked with the nonprofit since she was 24 years old. In previous years, Betsy often helped with their annual vision walks and currently helps coordinate events like wine tastings and “Taste of the Town.” Additionally, Betsy enjoys spending time visiting classrooms with her guide dogs, singing for students and teaching them to be comfortable in the presence of a guide dog. Betsy looks forward to taking Emily into the classroom to volunteer and hopes to offer reading sessions, where the  students can read to Emily.

How would you describe your guide dog? “There are so many words to describe her, but she is so good, loving, highly intelligent, energetic, and loyal – so loyal. If I were to describe a perfect dog, it would be Emily. She is my first black dog. Token is perfect too, docile and quiet and Emily is a presence.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I love the independence of a guide dog and I love Guiding Eyes. Guiding Eyes is like a family, where I’ve made close friends. Through the years I have done fundraising with Guiding Eyes, travelling to talk to donors. I’m also a Pathfinder for Guiding Eyes; it is nice to be able to give back.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Using a cane is using an object finder, but a dog is an object avoider. Guide dogs make you more social and get you out in the world. Being blind can be isolating and they make you feel less isolated, because having a guide dog is to always have a companion. The companionship and feeling like part of a team . We have a relationship of trust.”

Were there any training highlights?  “An ankle accident left me afraid of using escalators and Emily encourages me to use them again and feel safe doing it. It felt amazing. Emily also has impeccable manners in restaurants. This is incredible, given part of her journey included the COVID-19 pandemic, and she was still able to become a guide dog.”

Meet Guide Dog Emily

The Guiding Eyes family joins the Delmarva Puppy Raising Region in mourning the loss of Emily’s beloved raiser, Sue Dyott.

Sue Dyott was a bright light in Delmarva Puppy Raising Region and no length of time with her would have been enough. Sue was an active participant in puppy classes and outings where she often dressed up her puppies for the occasion. At one class Sue dressed Emily up as a bee and herself as a beekeeper. She gave her all to raising her puppies and gave them so many great experiences, like riding in a boat during a parade and visiting with alpacas at the zoo. Sue’s legacy lives on in Emily and we are so proud to see she’s grown into such a lovely guide dog. Wishing you many happy years together. 

Cindy Tait, Regional Manager and the Delmarva Region Team

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