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Seth and Hayes

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.

– Richard Woods

Meet Home Training Graduate Seth

Seth and guide dog HayesGraduate Team: Seth and Hayes
About the Team: Hayes, a male yellow Lab, is Seth’s  2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Toledo, Ohio
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Susan Kroha

Seth currently works at the Cleveland Sight Center as a customer service agent, fielding calls for various Ohio state agencies through the call center. He graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Services & Professional Sales, and now enjoys walking the campus as an alumnus with guide dog Hayes.  Seth is a music enthusiast and listens to various genres, but he especially loves alternative rock from the decade of the 2000’s. He enjoys his weekly visits to a local restaurant that features music-based trivia challenges. Seth reveals that what really sparks his interest is his love of history. He’s especially interested in the history of the United States and loves to watch documentaries on the subject.

How would you describe your guide dog? “He’s a big easy-going yellow Labrador. Hayes is very chill, yet very enthusiastic about working.   I can’t put more emphasis on how laid-back he is, never passing up the opportunity to nap.  It’s as if he’s saying, ‘I’m nearby and I’ll do whatever you need me to do, but I’ll just chill here in the meantime.’ He likes to do what I call air-licking, showing affection with a lick towards, but not touching, my face. He’s a sweet boy. ”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “When I was looking into a guide dog the first time, my high school O&M instructor suggested I research schools and find whatever I thought would fit me best. My older brother Ethan recommended Guiding Eyes having received his guide dog from here. He had worked with Specialized Training Instructor Susan Kroha and couldn’t say enough about her. That was another reason I chose to apply to this school. I was very happy with my first experience at the school and, although I would’ve enjoyed coming back to campus, the home training with Hayes was a very pleasurable experience, too.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog has given me more independence for travel and really opened me up to people I would have never met otherwise.  It’s strengthened my relationship with my friends and family. Just knowing I have that loving relationship with my dog, who’s by my side, has somehow really enhanced those other relationships, as well.”

Were there any training highlights? “I think what surprised me the most was the amount Hayes was affected by distractions – very little to none. Even when it comes to dog distraction, he is amazing; I was in awe. Also, from the first day the trainer dropped him off, we bonded almost immediately. That was somewhat unexpected. Our relationship is outstanding; he really clicked with me.”

Meet Guide Dog Hayes

I loved Hayes’ patience and calm.  He was a constant joy to be around and the easiest pup I’ve ever raised, but I knew Hayes was exceptional when he was only 3 months old. While camping, we went for a hike, but not knowing it was an expert trail and way above my capabilities and Hayes’.  I finally decided to give up and turn around, but downhill was so steep! He walked down with no problem, staying with me.  What a great adventure and what an awesome pup! I am THRILLED that he is matched and will serve and enjoy his new life and partner.  I can only imagine the bond formed – it must be greater than I can even imagine.

Jane Silek, Puppy Raiser for Hayes

Enjoy these photos of the team and Hayes as a pup on program…