Graduate Team Heidi and Nash

 In Graduations, News & Events

Meet February Residential Training Graduate Heidi

Graduate Heidi and yellow guide dog NashGraduate Team: Heidi and Nash
About the Team: Nash, a male yellow Lab, is Heidi’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Shanon Walsh

Heidi is well acquainted with Guiding Eyes, having lost her remaining vision at 38 years of age, as a result of retinopathy of prematurity. Now 54 years old, she has received her third dog, Nash, and has nothing but accolades for Guiding Eyes. She resides in Edinboro, in Erie County, Pennsylvania, with David, her husband of 33 years. They have two daughters and a son, all employed in the health care field, and boasts of two wonderful grandchildren, a 5 year old grandson, and 2 year old granddaughter. Heidi has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and her graduate degree in Elementary Education. She entered the field of vision loss early on when she volunteered for the Blind and Visual Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh. Soon thereafter, Heidi was hired and is currently employed as a Vision Rehabilitation teacher for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Her hobbies and interests include reading, knitting, crocheting, assorted craft projects, and playing with her grandchildren. She also states that she loves to shop.  

How would you describe your guide dog? “Nash is a diligent, hard worker; he likes to please and is proud of this fact. He is also very lovable. He gets along very well with our family dog, Flynn, a boxer mix. They enjoy playing together, sharing a special stuffed lobster toy.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Nash is my third guide dog, all from Guiding Eyes. All my past guide dogs have been wonderful experiences, so there was no need to go elsewhere.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Although I have cane skills, I feel safer and freer to go places. I am a fast walker, so having Nash enables me to be a little less inhibited.”

Were there any training highlights?  “My instructor, Shanon Walsh, was nothing short of awesome. She was personable, and always knew what she was doing. Her number one goal was to make certain that Nash and I connected as a team. The places we experienced during training were selected because they tied into my home life environment and my personal needs. These places included a local mall with escalators, the City of White Plains, the downtown area of Yorktown and riding a local bus. Oh my gosh, the accommodations were exquisite. I could not ask for more giving personnel. The food was awesome, providing a healthy choice menu. I didn’t want to return home to eat my regular food. My classmates were a joy, and one in particular, Bill, was very supportive and had us laughing with his jokes. His voice reminded me of the comedian, Bob Newhart.”

Meet Guide Dog Nash

  • DOB:  9/9/2019
  • Tattoo ID:  1N319
  • Color/Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
  • Gender: Male
  • Brood: Joplin
  • Stud: Zinc
  • Littermates:   Nyla, Nettles
  • Region: Prince William
  • Regional Manager: Jodi Haveles
  • Puppy Raiser:  Sami & Roger Glaes, Ron Harris, Eva-Marie Klenner
  • Facebook:   Guiding Eyes Prince William Puppy Raisers
yellow guide dog Nash

Nash was a big love from the moment we got him. He is so good natured and patient and he got along well with our pet dog. Always respectful and at times “contemplative”. Nash is a snuggle bear and always up for a walk and Logan even taught him to retrieve the frisbee. Not his biggest joy, but he would do it because it seemed to make Logan happy, ha! Nash has a comforting and loving energy that opens people’s hearts when they meet him, even if they aren’t dog people. We so enjoyed having him around.

Eva Klenner and Logan Shelman, Puppy Raisers of Nash

Enjoy these photos of the team and Nash 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.

Graduate Molly and yellow guide dog ClintonGraduate Dustin and GSD guide Pilot
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