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Emmanuel and Arby

Meet Graduate Emmanuel

Emmanuel sits close to black Lab guide dog Arby in an outdoor settingGraduate Team:  Emmanuel and Arby
About the Team:  Arby, a male black Lab, is Emmanuel’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Location:  Hayward, California
Training: March 2023 Home Training

Emmanuel was born in the Philippines, the place where his parents met while his father was serving in the U.S. Navy.  He lives with his son and daughter in California, where he has spent his entire life. He worked for the IRS for many years and is looking forward to starting a new job at a call center soon. When he is not working, Emmanuel enjoys spending time with his family.  Emmanuel became part of the Guiding Eyes family in 2014 when he received his first guide dog, Dallas, who recently retired but remains in the home and where they have welcomed Arby.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Arby is very active and energetic!  He can be playful and silly, but when he is in his harness, he knows he has a job to do, and he does it well.  When he is working, he is focused.  Arby is very devoted to me. Even when he is not working, he likes to maintain contact and stays right by my side.  My retired guide Dallas still lives with me too.  Dallas is 12 years old and has always been very mellow.  I find it interesting how they are both excellent guides yet have very different personalities.  Although they are different, they are often together.  When I call one dog, they both always come.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I wanted to be as independent as possible.  My son and daughter live with me, but they need their independence as well and I did not want to have to rely on them too much.  Prior to getting Dallas, I investigated a few guide dog schools. I chose Guiding Eyes for several reasons, but largely due to the Specialized Training they offer for students like me, who also have hearing loss.” 

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Guiding Eyes and my amazing guide dogs Dallas and Arby have given me self-confidence and the ability to maintain my independence. I can safely navigate my neighborhood and use public transportation to get to work and home again.”

Were there any training highlights? “When I started working with Arby instead of Dallas, it occurred to me it was like learning to ballroom dance with a new partner. Arby and I needed to get to know each other so we could synchronize our movements. Now we seem to just flow together. When I got my first guide dog, I trained at the Guiding Eyes campus. This time, I trained at home with my Guiding Eyes mobility instructor.  It was helpful to train using my own routes and giving lots of one-on-one attention to Arby.  I liked being able to practice on my local transit system in preparation for starting my new job soon.”

Meet Guide Dog Arby

DOB:  7/5/2019
Litter ID: 5A319
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Vickie
Stud: Jody
Littermates: Azalea, Anya, Apex, April, Avalon
Region:  Maine
Regional Puppy Instructor: Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser:  Sara Buswell, Erica & Isaac Ocana
Facebook: Maine Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Arby’s best trait is his eyes! While many dogs are food driven or toy driven, Arby was “connection driven.” He loved to learn, to share new adventures, to “check in” and see what I was thinking. Whether he was being serious or silly, he was always curious and intensely focused, observing and interacting with everything. Training Arby to be confident and make good choices using the principle “Celebrate successes, don’t punish failures” has also made me more confident and a more successful teacher. Guiding Eyes keeps telling me I had a great impact on Arby, helping him along to become the great guide he is. I know Arby had a huge impact on my life, and he will on yours as well. Enjoy the journey!  ~ Sara Buswell, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…