Graduate Team – Sara and Kathleen

 In Graduations, News & Events

Thank you to our generous May Graduates Sponsor…

The University of Rhode Island Puppy Raisers Club wishes the graduate teams good luck in their new partnerships!

Meet Home Training Graduate Sara

Graduate Team: Sara and Kathleen
About the Team: Kathleen, a female black Lab, is Sara’s 6th guide dog, and 5th from Guiding Eyes
Hometown: Amherst, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Lisa Derleth

Sara is an active, outdoors person. She loves exercising, whether it be in the park or gym, and enjoys riding a tandem bicycle with her partner. She likes to sew and makes pillows or crochets blankets for friends and family. She also shares her creative projects with members of the support groups for the visually impaired and deaf that she is involved in, through social networks and her local church.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Kathleen is the most loveable dog, extremely so, and is a good worker. She loves her work and is very focused. She can be very playful and affectionate and loves to play with Judy, my retired guide. She’s spunky and ‘squirmy-wormy’ with a lot of energy, but serious when working and doesn’t get over excited.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog at Guiding Eyes? “When I first moved into the area, Guiding Eyes was recommended to me, after I’d had difficulties with my first guide, (from a previous school). I love this school – people are very helpful and will work with you on addressing any issues that arise. I love the people – and the food! I like that Guiding Eyes staff visits you every year and I would recommend them, and their training, to anyone.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I like to be outside. Having a guide dog allows me to safely go out by myself wherever I want, whenever I want, so I can be more independent. I love to play with the dogs in the yard and look forward to seeing Kathleen and my retired guide, Judy, in the paddling pool later this year. Judy loves that!”

Were there any training highlights? “The instructor was very easy to work with and very friendly. I thought Kathleen would be sniffing a lot, but she doesn’t at all. She’s just very focused and serious about her work. I can tell she’s going to be a good guide dog and will know what she’s doing. She may be the best guide I’ve had so far!”

Meet Guide Dog Kathleen

  • DOB: 10/6/2018
  • Tattoo ID: 5K318
  • Color/Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
  • Gender: Female
  • Brood:  Willa
  • Stud:  Chester
  • Littermates: Kevin, Keegan, Kingston, Kindle, Kelsa, Kit
  • Region: Eastern CT
  • Regional Manager: Maureen Hollis
  • Puppy Raiser:  The Monteiro Family and Carrie Michon (starter)
  • Facebook:  Guiding Eyes Eastern CT Puppy Raisers
Guide dog Kathleen shares a doggie smile with new partner Sara

Kathleen was the third dog we raised for GEB and my favorite. She was challenging at first, but smart and loving, and I knew her energy could be channeled into work. Our relationship soon blossomed, she was housebroken quickly and mastered new commands almost instantly. She loved to hike and swim and to be silly with friends, but when her vest went on, she knew she had a job to do and was focused and attentive. She had her IFT right before the COVID shut down, so three days after our painful goodbye, I got the call asking if I could take her back temporarily. I felt I had won the lottery with the bonus time we shared. I miss her every day, but am so proud to know she is going to change someone (else’s) life – because she has already changed mine. She has taught me more than I could ever teach her about work ethic, positive attitude and unconditional love.

Cheryl Monteiro, Puppy Raiser of Kathleen

Enjoy these photos of the team and Kathleen 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.

Angel and guide dog SigmundKate and Icarus at a pond