Graduate Team Arturo and Vangie

 In 2021 Graduations, Graduations, News & Events

Thank you to our generous April Graduates Sponsor…

In memory of my wife, Barbara Woods, who loved dogs and Guiding Eyes. Through our entire marriage, we have had dogs, usually two at a time, and enjoyed them! Sponsoring the graduating class is a perfect way to honor her memory.

– Richard Woods

Meet April Residential Training Graduate Arturo

Graduate Arturo sits on a bench with guide dog Vangie at his feetGraduate Team: Arturo and Vangie
About the Team: Vangie, a female yellow Lab, is Arturo’s 1st Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Flushing, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Allison Greenberg

Arturo, born and raised in Flushing, NY, enjoys many passions. He especially loves audiobooks and music, never passing up a chance to listen to the “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack. Arturo recently founded an advocacy group, the EVS Blind and Low Vision Empowerment Group. His hope is that through this group, he can empower blind and low vision students in New York City, (and eventually nationwide), to advocate for themselves. Arturo’s advocacy group will provide essential information regarding important topics, like the Americans with Disabilities Act and will soon be hosting its first event. He looks forward to continuing this important advocacy work with Vangie by his side.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Vangie is a wonderful companion and an amazing set of eyes and guide. Most of all, she is a dear friend.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I know the white cane is designed to detect obstacles, but I’m reminded by friends and family, that a guide dog can work with you; not to just detect obstacles, but to avoid them. This is all while being a lifetime friend and companion, and you can’t have that relationship with a cane.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I’ve always been an active person, but still, my vision loss made me hesitant sometimes. Vangie gives me the motivation and confidence to get out and about. Walking and talking with her, I really feel that she can understand me. Walking with her is so refreshing; it’s so wonderful to have that companion to work with.”

Were there any training highlights? “There were a few rainy days during our training and I was a bit nervous that Vangie wouldn’t want to be out in the stormy weather. She took it like a champ! I was worried for nothing – she was great. We make a good team; I really loved the training overall. We had a small class because of COVID safety, and I think that just made the bond between the students even stronger. We all shared our contact information and stay in touch.”

Meet Guide Dog Vangie

  • DOB: 11/13/18
  • Tattoo ID:  3V318
  • Color/Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
  • Gender: Female
  • Brood: Tiara
  • Stud:  Florian
  • Littermates:  Vance, Vesey, Velvet, Valiant, Vanna
  • Region: Cleveland East
  • Regional Manager: Leslie Stephens
  • Puppy Raiser: Mark and Ann Knapik
  • Facebook:  Guiding Eyes Ohio Puppy Raisers

Vangie was a very energetic and a most agreeable puppy. She lived with four other dogs and quickly became the ringleader of outdoor playtime. She instigated the fun, frolic and excitement running around each dog. She seldom barked, but squealed with delight earning the nickname, Little Piggy. She enjoyed participating in a fashion show and being a spectator at many sporting events, college lectures and office parties. Vangie was a quick learner and very focused. We enjoyed our time with cuddle monster Vangie. She learned from fellow GEB pup Wish and continued the tradition by teaching current GEB pup Fallon. We are so excited to hear that she is graduating and look forward to her continue success as a guide dog. The more you love her, she will respond 100x. Have fun.

Ann and Mark Knapik, Puppy Raisers of Vangie

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

Meet our other recent guide dog team graduates. Click here!

Friends and Family:  Watch this video to learn more about  Working with a Guide Dog Team.

Kenneth and guide AshleyGraduate Diane and guide Ranger
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