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Irene and Tex

Meet Graduate Irene

Irene sits next to black Lab guide dog Tex for team portraitGraduate Team: Irene and Tex
About the Team: Tex, a male black Lab, is Irene’s 2nd Guide Dog
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Training: August 2023 On-Campus

Irene and her husband Jeff have been married for 23 years and they currently live near Springfield, Massachusetts. She has two adult children, Joshua and Karen. Irene was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and raised in Bristol, Rhode Island. As an infant she was diagnosed with myopia. Over the years her vision loss increased, and in 2014 she was declared legally blind. Irene enjoys reading romance and mysteries using audiobooks to quench her reading appetite. She also likes to stay active, participating in exercise classes, walking groups and the local theatre. She currently has an acting part in a comedy about a funeral home. Tex is Irene’s second guide dog from Guiding Eyes. Her first guide dog Yoshi is retired and living in North Carolina with her good friend Kate, who is a veterinarian.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Tex is a love bug. He really loves to cuddle and is so gentle. However, when he is in his harness and working, he is amazing. I don’t need to tell him to watch out for the down and up curbs. He is always alert and very aware of his surroundings. When he is off harness, he is a typical dog. Although not a fan of tennis balls he absolutely loves stuffed animals. When not working, he will walk around all day, with one in his mouth and always take one back to his crate at night.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “When I was looking for a guide dog originally, I read the reviews of the different guide dog schools. I learned then that the Guiding Eyes staff was very accommodating. My personal experience led me back to Guiding Eyes for Tex.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Tex, as well as my former guide dog, Yoshi, have given me more freedom. I am so much more comfortable going out for walks by myself and getting on public transportation.”

Were there any training highlights? “Everything in regard to my on-campus training was great, including the food, which was wonderful. Also, I was able to train with the same GDMI, Dan, this time around, and him being familiar with me was very helpful. Kathy, the regional GDMI, has been to my home to provide support as Tex started exhibiting behavior issues off harness, when excited to see visitors entering our house. Guiding Eyes has been very supportive in addressing this for our success as a team.”

Meet Guide Dog Tex

DOB:  5/30/2021
Litter ID: 1T21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Ode
Stud: Arnie
Littermates: Truffle, Timmy, Tyra, Theo
Region:  Cleveland East, Cleveland West
Regional Puppy Instructor: Macy Nauman
Puppy Raiser:   The Slover Family, Sommer Toncler
Facebook: Ohio Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Raising Tex was such an amazing adventure! Tex is so gentle and sweet! My fondest memories of Tex all involve his friendship with Ollie, my cat. Tex and Ollie were inseparable. We went on walks together, played, and napped together. Ollie even groomed Tex! Tex loved everything, especially food. But his favorite blanket and toy never left his side. He loved going on all types of outings, and especially enjoyed meeting children. He loved “swimming” and would often simply lay in the kiddie pool, not moving. This trait earned him his beloved name of Hippopotamus. Tex has the spirit of kindness and the instinct to care for others. He was truly born to guide, and I wish him and his partner all the best! With Tex by your side, great adventures are in their way!  ~ Danielle Slover 

Photos of the Team…