Graduate Team – Deborah and Ames

 In 2021 Graduations, Graduations, News & Events

Meet March Residential Graduate Deborah

Graduate Team: Deborah and Ames
About the Team: Ames, a male black Lab, is Deborah’s first guide dog
Hometown:  Farmington, Connecticut
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Kathryn Poallo

Deborah is a data analyst for an insurance company, who is currently working from home. She is married with three children, who are now young adults and have flown the nest. Deb is a fan of reading action, adventure and murder mystery books and enjoys French and Indian cooking with her husband. Ames is Deborah’s first dog, and she couldn’t have a better introduction than this loving, happy guide.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Ames is so adorable, active and playful. If he was a human, he’d be the most popular boy in town. He’s so attentive, happy and loving! He loves playing with his tennis ball, but is a good listener and very focused when working.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog at Guiding Eyes?  “I read a lot of testimonials on the Guiding Eyes website. I liked that it sounded as though the staff really cares about the success of the person and dog partnership, and I liked the level of support the school offers.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Ames has enabled me to get out more, and with confidence, to many different places now. He’s also given me someone new to love and he just makes me happy!”

Were there any training highlights? “It was great getting out and about in different environments and having the opportunity to meet people. I was able to learn from the others in the class, who were all experienced guide dog users. The training was intensive, but it was good. It touched on so many different things that you are likely to encounter in your daily life, like dining or walking in a busy town. The instructor was phenomenal and always available to answer questions 24/7.”

Meet Guide Dog Ames

  • DOB: 8/7/18
  • Tattoo ID: 3A318
  • Color/Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
  • Gender: Male
  • Brood:  Otter
  • Stud:  Kaplan
  • Littermates:  Arthur, Ambrie, Abe
  • Region: Orange County
  • Regional Manager: Liz Vacchiano (Caitlyn Landry, Maureen Hollis)
  • Puppy Raiser:  Aimee Wilkins and Family
  • Facebook:  Guiding Eyes Orange County Puppy Raisers
Guide dog Ames

Ames is an amazing, goofy pup.  I think one of his greatest strengths was having a sense of human emotions. He always made me smile and would somehow know when I needed a doggy hug. Ames loves to swim and play fetch, as well as see how many balls he can fit in his mouth.  Going to Tractor Supply was one of our favorite outings. He always amazes me.  He was able to adapt to being back in our home because of Covid, then returned to training to become a guide dog. Love him always.

Aimee Wilkins, Puppy Raiser of Ames

Enjoy these photos of the team and Ames 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.

Phil kneels next to guide dog Kit
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