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Jane and Noah

Meet Graduate Jane

Jane sits close to black lab guide dog Noah inside on a covered bench for team portrait

Graduate Team:  Jane and Noah
About the Team:  Noah, a male black Lab, is Jane’s 1st guide dog
Location:  Eugene, Oregon
Training:  May 2023 On-Campus

Jane is a part-time Master of Divinity student, pursuing an on-line degree at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.  At the conclusion of her program, she hopes to become a hospital chaplain, having volunteered with a hospital pastoral staff for many years.  Jane has also volunteered with the Wesley Center for years, enjoying her friendship with the pastor and his wife, who are the directors of the organization. Their work assures that college students with financial challenges have access to food, clothing, or a welcoming place to hang out and talk. Jane has enjoyed working in children’s ministries for 20 years and will soon be holding an assembly for her church’s kindergarten through 5th grade students, teaching them about guide dogs, the important service they provide, and proper etiquette when encountering a team. 

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Noah is a beautiful black Lab with a puppy nature and is a very good dog. He is very playful and loves his toys.  When in harness, he’s all business; on point and great.  When I ride buses or sit in church, he just tucks himself quietly under the seat.  I was approached by a young boy who very politely asked if he could pet my dog.  I took the opportunity to gently use it as a teaching moment about guide dogs, explaining that he is working, and when working, petting is not allowed.  I also explained that for someone who has trouble seeing, the dog is our eyes.  His father, standing nearby seemed pleased.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “As my vision continued to decline, I spoke with a local friend who had a Guiding Eyes guide dog. I contacted Guiding Eyes, and Regional Instructor Melissa came to Oregon to interview me.  Living in the city, I had known about the audible buttons at street crossings and had fought to get them on the crossing nearest my home.  I was told that it was a blind person who is credited with the idea of the knobby ramps that identify crossings. Noah walks me right to those crossing ramps.  Noah’s trainers did a wonderful job.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “I look forward to getting out of the house now.  Last week we had to go to the bank and Noah took me right to the crosswalk.  A crosswalk is a busy place, and I had a bad experience when I was 17, so it’s a little scary, but he was just great.  Now that I have Noah, I get around with confidence.  Sometimes when we go outside, I say, come on, get busy, and I have to laugh because he looks at me like ‘wait, I’m looking at people’.  Also, having Noah is nice because I love walking and my overall health shows improvements. Noah and I are buddies, and so enjoy the freedom of going where we choose, like trips to the library, and we try to ignore the few pesky squirrels that drop seed pods from the trees.” 

Were there any training highlights? “I learned a lot from GDMI Michelle; things like ‘reading’ your dog when he moves you side to side to avoid obstacles, and whether there are people dining at tables on the sidewalk, or objects like plants.  If he dips his head as if sniffing something on the sidewalk, I can use the clicker or say ‘leave it.’ and he does. He is wonderful.”

Meet Guide Dog Noah

DOB:  2/19/2020
Litter ID: S-3N20
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Orly
Stud: Higgins
Littermates: Nyssa, Nita, Nanette, Newport, Neutron
Region:  Cleveland West
Regional Puppy Instructor: Macy Nauman
Puppy Raiser:  The Halloran Family, Larry & Vicki Dean
Facebook: Cleveland West Puppy Raisers

Special Recognition: Noah was Special Named by The Heinzerling Family.

From the Puppy Raiser…

Noah has the sweetest disposition. He was never rattled by loud and sudden sounds. He broke his leg at 9 weeks and was a trooper. He acted like a cast and doctor visits are just what every puppy does. We loved taking Noah to Edgewater Beach to enjoy the sand and swimming. ~ Paula Holloran, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…