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Ezrick and Brutus

Meet Graduate Ezrick

Graduate Team: EzricGraduate Ezrick and Yellow Lab guide dog Brutusk and Brutus
About the Team: Brutus, a yellow male Lab, is Ezrick’s 1st guide dog
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Marybeth Totaro 
March On-Campus Training

Ezrick is 25 years old and working toward his associate degree in Business Administration at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He lives in Brooklyn with his mother and two younger sisters. Ezrick was born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a rare genetic eye disorder, that causes severe vision impairment at birth. Through his teenage and young adult years, his vision loss progressed, leading to eye surgery less than a year ago, with hopes of improving his sight. He experiences fluctuating improvement in his day and night vision. Ezrick enjoys being outdoors and walking. He also likes listening to all genres of music and traveling. Among his most recent excursions are trips to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia. Ezrick has a new traveling companion in Brutus, his first guide dog.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Brutus is a very good guide dog. He is sweet and very playful when we are home.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I learned about the work of Guiding Eyes when I attended the New York Institute for Special Education, back in 2012/2013.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Since my surgery, my vision has been unstable. I previously relied on a cane, but getting around with Brutus definitely works better for me. I am more mobile, and I have greater confidence to go outside. I also get around much faster and do not have to worry when I am with Brutus.”

Were there any training highlights? “Training was fun and my instructor, Marybeth, was super nice. My training included trips to White Plains, Mt. Kisco and the train station in Katonah. We also trained in New York City on 42nd street, at the Port Authority bus terminal, and in my own neighborhood.”

Meet Guide Dog Brutus

Brutus came into my life the summer before my senior year of high school. As soon as I met him it was hard not to fall in love with his big blocky head, and life of the party personality, (his nickname was party time!). Brutus was always a very confident pup, and when he was in his toddler/teen years he struggled staying quiet, boy could he bark! But of course, he grew out of that. He always worked so hard for me, and every time I brought him out, we had a blast; he was so much fun to work with. My time with Brutus helped me discover how passionate I am about dogs, and service animal training. I am now pursuing a career in dog training. I always knew Brutus would be able to make it all the way to an official guide, and I am both so happy and excited for Brutus and his handler!

Ava Marceau, Puppy Raiser of Brutus


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