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.
Meet April Residential Training Graduate Christine
Graduate Team: Christine and Kindle
About the Team: Kindle, a female black Lab, is Christine’s first guide dog
Hometown: Danbury, Connecticut
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Deanna Lentini
Christine is a financial analyst who works for a large software company. She is married with 2 children, and currently everyone’s working remotely in their busy household. Christine enjoys the outdoors and remains active with exercise driven activities, including yoga. When not socializing with friends and family, Christine enjoys researching and cooking healthy meals and is an avid reader of historical fiction.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Kindle is a very playful, loving, smart and confident dog who transitions well into work mode. She’s alert and super in-tune with me and is always quietly there next to me. She’s very clever and responsive to verbal instructions.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog at Guiding Eyes? “When I was in the 4th grade, we had a field trip to Guiding Eyes, which really stuck with me, so when it came time to think about getting a guide dog, it was the natural place to go. Everyone I knew who was familiar with guide dogs always had positive, glowing praise for the organization.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Although it’s still early on, as my bond grows with Kindle, I’m excited about the possibilities; the things I will be able to do comfortably and with more confidence. The fact that she’s a constant companion who is always there for me, meaning I don’t have to depend on human guides, is a game changer.”
Were there any training highlights? “Seeing how well the instructors’ dogs behaved when used for dog distraction instruction, showed me the possibilities. I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge of the trainers. You started to see the rewards of that coming through in the training program. All the staff were very professional and in tune with everything we did; wanting to make our stay as comfortable as they could and being very flexible. It was nice to have a community around you while training, even after hours, in a very protective environment. The staff share common goals and training is a community effort. They really worked to accommodate my specific needs in the middle of a pandemic, so I felt very supported.”
Meet Guide Dog Kindle
- DOB: 10/6/2018
- Tattoo ID: 4K318
- Color/Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Female
- Brood: Willa
- Stud: Chester
- Littermates: Kevin, Keegan, Kingston, Kathleen, Kelsa, Kit
- Region: Eastern MA
- Regional Manager: Pat Webber
- Puppy Raiser: The Rikleen Family
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Eastern MA Puppy Raisers
She’s a sweet dog who steals hearts – she quickly became a favorite for those who puppy sat for her! Kindle’s last month with us overlapped with the birth of our son. She was wonderful with him and adapted quickly to the new pecking order. We quickly became comfortable leaving her in the room with him on the floor without nervously hovering (as new parents do). Kindle saw “Hamilton” (much to envy of many humans!) – we were in a packed theater with little legroom and lots of strange sounds – she did great! She always adapted quickly to new circumstances, especially if there were no distracting dogs around. Kindle a real challenge at first – she had a lot of spunk. Though our early days together were tough, they made the journey that much more fulfilling – she’s an incredibly sweet puppy and we love her dearly. Kindle was our 6th guide puppy, and the first we raised for GEB. We were amazed at how much she learned and how quickly she learned it, and really appreciated the philosophy of being attuned to your dog’s emotional and mental state to maximize connection.
Leslie Rikleen, Puppy Raiser of Kindle
It was very nice to hear that Kindle has graduated as a guide dog. I took care of her during the Covid19 pause for a few months and she was a wonderful dog. Best wishes to Kindle and her lucky handler.
Carol Cavanaugh, Home Foster of Kindle