Graduate Team Janet and Freya
Meet Home Training Graduate Janet
Janet holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English Language and Literature. After working in Education, she went to work for the County of Westchester in New York State. Janet recently retired from a 40+ year career in Constituent Services for the Westchester County Executive office. She is a volunteer at her church teaching adult religious education and is also a musician, who plays guitar, sings, and writes music. As part of a local school program, “Learning from our Differences”, Janet is a speaker, sharing information with students about visual impairment. Her guide dog is always of great interest to the students!
How would you describe your guide dog? “Freya is great! She is sweet and a strong and responsive guide. She is also energetic, enthusiastic, cuddly and full of love. Freya has quickly become best friends with my retired guide dog, Freedom.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “As my vision continued to deteriorate, I got my first guide at the age of 47. After applying to Guiding Eyes and another guide dog school, I chose Guiding Eyes because I preferred the Labrador Retriever breed. Although I recently retired, Freya and I are busy every day. Whether it’s errands or lunch with friends, we are often on-the-go. I am working on recording a CD with friends, so Freya and I have lots to do!”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog has been phenomenal! Each guide dog has given me independence, confidence and comfort. My dogs have afforded me many opportunities to work and travel. I feel much safer and therefore prefer to travel with a dog versus a cane. I have enjoyed travel with each of my dogs, whether it be a cruise, or visits to the dogs’ puppy raisers. I appreciate the opportunity to keep the connection to the puppy raiser and the sense of community formed around the love of each dog.”
Were there any training highlights? “With each of my guide dogs, I have participated in the Home Training program. Training at home works best for me. I really like the ability to work with my new guide in my local surroundings from the beginning. It is amazing to watch the dog problem solve as they become familiar with new places. Most recently it has been fun watching Freya navigate church pews on Sunday mornings.”
Meet Guide Dog Freya
- DOB: 1/20/19
- Dog ID: 1F19
- Color/Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Female
- Brood: Frannie
- Stud: Wallace
- Littermates: Farla, Floss, Farrow, Chait
- Region: Monroe NY
- Regional Manager: Cassie Houghton
- Puppy Raiser: The Galusha Family
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Monroe NY Puppy Raisers
Freya loved being “on the go!” including when I got out her vest and said “time to go work!” She loved going to the grocery store and was absolutely focused on “her job”. She made us all so proud by ignoring the wonderful smells and waiting patiently, especially at check out! Freya was just a joy, such a cuddle bug, and loved life, her human and her pet friends, like our 6 yr old Lab Hana! She became our family’s best friend and she made each of us a better person by her unconditional love! Freya is going to make her “person” very happy and we know she will love doing her job! What a blessing to the world! Our family was doubly blessed to also have raised Freya’s Mama, Brood Frannie! Love comes back!
Beth Galusha, Puppy Raiser of Freya
God said, I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend a day on a couch with a resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart. So, God made a dog.” ~ author unknown
Enjoy these photos of the team and Freya 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.