Graduate Team – Kyle & Ambrie
Meet Home Training Graduate Kyle
Kyle is enjoying his retirement after working for many years at his county’s transit service, booking travel as a customer service agent and performing as a client advocate for the disabled. Helping people with disabilities is a role he has actively continued in retirement, working with the county on important ADA issues. Originally from California, Kyle worked as a computer programmer at Hewlett Packard many years ago, but nowadays he’s more than happy to distance himself from technology. Kyle loves camping, fishing and hiking; a firm believer that anything outdoors is better than indoors. He and Ambrie will surely enjoy many outdoor adventures together as a team.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Ambrie is excellent. She’s my fifth guide dog and when it comes to being a team, she’s right up there as one of the best. She’s very smart, loving and funny. She loves to be outside and going for walks. She’s wonderful with everyone and everything; just a great dog.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “My first four dogs were from another school. I’d had a knee replacement surgery and my balance is off, so I didn’t know if I’d still be able to get a guide dog. It had been over two years since my previous guide dog. A gentleman I know went to Guiding Eyes for his dog and said it was a super experience, so I thought I should give them a try. I’m glad I did. Guiding Eyes makes an effort to help those with other disabilities. My trainer Michael was very supportive and assured me, ‘the right dog and the right training – it will work.’ He was a great trainer; the best I’ve had.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having Ambrie is giving me a life again. I really didn’t like going back to using a cane after using a guide dog. I found it to be very difficult to get used to and slow. With a guide dog, travel is much faster and I’m surer of what I’m doing and where I’m going. A dog gives guidance and support at the same time.”
Were there any training highlights? “Michael was very good. The way he trained us was different from any previous training I’ve had. He was more open to what I needed, rather than just ‘going by the book’. The differences in some of the commands and techniques were just great.”
Meet Guide Dog Ambrie
- DOB: 8/7/2018
- Tattoo ID: 2A318
- Color/Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Female
- Brood: Otter
- Stud: Kaplan
- Littermates: Arthur, Ames, Abe
- Region: Central New York
- Regional Manager: Joy Hawksby
- Puppy Raiser: Sarah Riester, Mary Oonk (secondary)
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Central NY puppy raisers
Guiding Eyes is well-known for their superbly bred Labradors and Ambrie is no exception. During her time on puppy program she checked off every item on the list of ingredients for a successful guide dog. It was also clear that when it came to Ambrie’s size, the recipe for her was doubled. As a pup, her gigantic ears dominated every picture and resulted in a variety of “ear-dos” depending on how they landed. Perhaps the only thing bigger than Ambrie’s ears is her goofy personality, and love of people and food. Once her exuberance was channeled, she proved she could tackle the world with an almost mundane reliability, and I knew she was ready for the next step in her journey. Picturing her safely guiding her graduate, ears flapping in the wind, is what puppy raisers’ dreams are made of. I’m so happy for Ambrie and her graduate, and wish them all the best!
Sarah Riester, Puppy Raiser of Ambrie
As a pup on program, Ambrie always had an upbeat, “can do” attitude. She was up for trying anything new and to go on any type of outing. Ambrie often had to serve as a PR pup for our region and she was a great ambassador. Her affable good nature made Ambrie a people pleaser and a wonderful representative for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. We’re so happy Ambrie can continue to share her joy as a working guide dog! Best wishes to Ambrie and her partner for many safe and happy adventures.
Mary Oonk, Puppy Raiser of Ambrie (Secondary)
Enjoy these photos of the team and Ambrie 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.