Thank you to our generous April Graduate 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.
Meet Graduate Calle
Calle is an actress who may be familiar to those who follow the television series, “In The Dark” from the CW Network and streaming on Netflix. Calle, who plays the character, Chloe, is currently living in Toronto, where the series is filmed, sharing an apartment with her brother. When not in Toronto, she can be found at home in New Hampshire with the rest of her family, including dog Espy and cat Can-Can. Calle enjoys reading, listening to music, and learning about recipes. She puts her creative talents to good use, knitting hats to donate to maternity wards and cancer patients.
How would you describe your guide dog? “When Teal is working, she’s super professional, super focused, and definitely knows she’s working. She loves to work, but when out of the harness she’s a complete puppy and loves playing. She has a toy called a Wubba that she absolutely loves. Once out of harness she grabs the Wubba and starts squeaking it and running around in the apartment. She also loves to cuddle and is a big licker. She’s like my shadow, following me everywhere. She could be sleeping on the floor but if I walk into the bathroom, she’s waiting outside the door for me. I love her name too. I bought a type of collar the school uses, in the color teal, so now Teal has a teal collar.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I’ve always wanted a guide dog. I love animals! Guide dogs have always seemed so cool. I wanted a lot more independence from my cane and from being attached to someone’s arm 24/7. The interview process was great. Some of the other schools I applied to requested a video of me walking around my neighborhood, but Guiding Eyes sent a Regional GDMI as part of the interview process and it felt much more personal. I had met someone with a Guiding Eyes guide dog who just raved about the program, so I looked into it. When I got in, I knew that’s where I wanted to go.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Without working or going to school, sometimes I would not have the motivation to do anything, whereas now, with Teal, I have a reason to go outside. I have new responsibilities; I am now responsible for another life beyond my own. It feels so great. To be able to go out and do things independently, and not attached to someone’s arm, is incredible. Having a best friend also feels great. I wasn’t super comfortable going out alone prior to getting Teal. It’s had a huge impact on my family too, because they felt so responsible for me, but now that I have Teal, it’s a huge weight off their shoulders.”
Were there any training highlights? “Our first walk together was amazing! With Teal, there’s no getting my cane stuck on every single crack in the sidewalk. She walks me down a hallway without me having to trail the wall and she guides me around obstacles I didn’t even know were there. It’s incredible! To be able to walk without touching anything but her harness handle is just so cool! We took a trip to New York City where I got to ride the subway, eat authentic New York City pizza, and get pictures in front of iconic places like Radio City Music Hall. It’s great to be able to walk around a city like Toronto, but a city I’m not used to was awesome. I have been absolutely terrified of escalators and would not go on them at all. I’d go out of my way to avoid them, but Teal absolutely loves them. Once I learned how to ride them with her, it totally changed my life. I love it! It’s so much fun now because I can do it myself. Teal is really such a great dog. I don’t know how they did it, but she is absolutely perfect for me. It’s amazing.”
Meet Guide Dog Teal
- DOB: 9/27/2019
- Tattoo ID: 8T319
- Color/Breed: Black/Labrador
- Gender: Female
- Brood: Ikea
- Stud: Heyden
- Littermates: Tate, Trista, Tampa, Tansy, Tora, Tala
- Region: Catoctin
- Regional Manager: Jeanyne Gembarski
- Puppy Raiser: Nancy & Keith Waites
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Catoctin Puppy Raisers
Teal was our 4th puppy we raised, but she is our first guide dog! Teal was a very quiet puppy to begin with, but then she came into her own and there was no stopping her. Teal loved going down the slide and walking across the wooden suspension bridge at the local playground. She never hesitated or gave it a second thought. She decided she was going to do it and that is what she did. Teal was the happiest puppy we have raised. Her tail was constantly wagging and she was just excited about life. She loves to play fetch, chew on a chew bone, and play with other dogs. Teal’s time with us overlapped with our current GEB puppy on program and she was a huge help in training our current pup. Teal was a positive and calming influence for the pup. We wish the best for the Team for many years to come!
Nancy and Keith Waites, Puppy Raisers for Teal
Enjoy these photos of the team and Teal as a pup on program…