I came to Guiding Eyes…

by graduate Deni Elliott

Graduate Deni Elliott with yellow Labrador guide dog AlbertaI came to Guiding Eyes to get a dog that would accompany me on my life’s pathways.  I leave with a partner who makes me confident enough to explore the world regardless of where the roads might lead.

I came to Guiding Eyes expecting the dog to reflect the love and care and discipline received from puppy raisers and trainers.  I leave having also experienced the love and care and discipline needed to make me a handler worthy of my Guiding Eyes dog.

I came to Guiding Eyes expecting to receive the remarkable gift of a dog specially trained to compensate for my loss of vision.  I leave knowing that this dog is the result of generations of purpose-bred guide dogs, and is the result of a breeding, whelping, puppy raising and training program that is the envy of guide dog schools around the world.  I leave humbled that I was chosen by Guiding Eyes.  I know now that the word “gift” is not nearly big enough to describe how my life has been changed by Guiding Eyes.

As my new partner and I leave together, I know that we are never alone and always strong.  We have the past that prepared us for one another.  We have staff and specialists for support today and every day. We have a future with no obstacle too big to work around.

I came to Guiding Eyes to get a dog but leave a member of the Guiding Eyes community forever.

Deni and Alberta walk along the Hudson River during a training route in Tarrytown.