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Jack and Laredo

We thank our generous sponsors:

The class training of Jack and Laredo was generously sponsored by Cerberus Capital Management. The team at Cerberus sends Jack and Laredo all the very best wishes on their new life together!

Meet Graduate Jack

Jack and yellow Lab guide Laredo sit for they graduate portrait

Graduate Team:   Jack and Laredo
About the Team:  Laredo, a male yellow Lab is Jack’s 1st guide dog
Location:   Tucson, Arizona
Training:   June 2023 On-Campus

Jack has completed his freshman year at the University of Arizona, studying psychology with a minor in political science and foreign affairs. Jack loves learning, so following the completion of this degree, he plans to do grad work, either in law school or grad studies in psychology. With more college years ahead, Laredo will be the perfect partner. He’s a champ at settling and a great conversation starter. They will return to college in the fall, but until then are enjoying spending the summer with his grandparents and family at their New Hampshire cabin on a lake.  During his down time, Jack enjoys reading and hanging out with friends. 

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Laredo is the calmest dog I’ve ever met. He loves his toys, balls, naps, and the walks we take. He is so sweet and kind. In New Hampshire he loves going to the beach, and riding in the boat. In harness, when it’s time to work, Laredo is extremely focused, ready to go; he’s on duty.  Laredo knows very clearly when he is working and when he is not. Laredo and I flew from Guiding Eyes to New Hampshire, and it couldn’t have gone better. With the two annual flights I take between AZ and NH, it is great knowing he settles so easily.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes “After I decided to get a guide dog, my mom and I were researching guide dog schools and Guiding Eyes was the first to return our call. Most importantly, we were impressed with the after-class support Guiding Eyes provides. That was the deciding factor and very important to me when choosing Guiding Eyes.” 

How has a guide dog impacted your life?  “It has been absolutely great. My vision is very unique. The best way to describe it is that my eyes are fine, but a part of the brain that processes vision is not functioning at full capacity. My vision gets progressively worse throughout the day, so the thing I’m most excited about is no longer having that fear that used to accompany my visual decline.  I’d never go out in the evening. I was simply too exhausted, but Laredo does absolutely everything for me, so I have no fear. I’m extremely excited to have him on campus. My days will become so much easier when navigating with him. I felt restricted with my cane and look forward to the social piece of having a guide dog. He’s much more of a conversation starter. My condition is called Cortical Blindness or Cerebral/Cortical Vision Impairment. It took nearly 7 years and a Harvard Medical School research study for a diagnosis. Now with Laredo I am ready to close that chapter on my vision and move forward without fear. Laredo impresses me every day, with how wonderful and easy it is navigating with him.” 

Were there any training highlights? “The training highlight is easy -the trip to Manhattan. It was incredible. Laredo was extremely focused, and we were ‘flying’. I’ve never walked that fast. Part of my condition is that I can’t process movement and how fast someone is coming toward me, so I cannot get out of the way. I was just amazed by how Laredo guided me around people and obstacles. There were other highlights around White Plains and Yorktown, going to Walmart and restaurants, but Manhattan was by far the most outstanding. The other obvious highlight was working with the Guiding Eyes staff, Shannon, Michelle, and the class I was part of. It is difficult to express, how thankful I am to have Laredo. I could not be more thankful to his trainer, Caroline, and all the other Guiding Eyes staff members who had a role in training Laredo. I am also grateful to his wonderful puppy raising family, and everyone else who has made this possible.”

Meet Guide Dog Laredo

DOB:  4/15/2021
Litter ID: 5L21
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Helen
Stud: Barlow
Littermates: Lucy, Lindsey, Loki, Laramie, Louie, Lorraine
Region:  NoVA-South
Regional Puppy Instructor: Janet Bartolotta
Puppy Raiser:  Elena Haverly
Facebook: NoVa-South Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

From the day he arrived we knew Laredo was a special pup! He calmly observed the world around him and enjoyed just being there. Laredo could get a good nap in anywhere, no matter what else was happening around him. We affectionately called him Potato, and it suited him. Nothing ever seemed to upset him. Our favorite times with the big guy include hiking, boating and cuddling. He could never get enough of any of these things. Laredo is a calm, gentle giant. He will be the rock by your side. Together you are unstoppable. ~Elena Haverly

Photos of the Team…