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Janet and Theodore

Meet Graduate Janet

July On-Campus TrainingGraduate Janet and yellow Lab guide Theodore
Graduate Team:  Janet and Theodore
About the Team: Theodore, a male yellow Lab, is Janet’s 4th Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Michelle Tang

Janet is a recent retiree after a 40-year career with an insurance company, providing clerical support. Janet got her first guide dog from Guiding Eyes in 1998.  She is looking forward to working with her new dog, Theodore, as she begins this new phase of life. Since retiring, Janet has focused her time on human rights advocacy efforts, specifically those related to guide dogs. Janet enjoys spending time outdoors and listening to music.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Theodore (Theo) is very sweet, affectionate, patient and adaptable.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “My sudden vision loss was accompanied by other health issues. Guiding Eyes offers very comprehensive On-Campus Training, including nursing staff to provide necessary medical support. As an organization, Guiding Eyes was willing to work with me and adapt the training to accommodate my needs.  After selecting Guiding Eyes for my first guide dog in 1998 and working with my excellent guide dog Vernon, I never considered another school.  Each of my guides have been very talented at assessing situations and making decisions. Guiding Eyes truly is a family that I am proud to be a part of.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “As a cane user, I felt slow, hesitant, and vulnerable. When I got my first guide dog, I got the confidence to return to work and did just that! My guide dogs accompanied me to work for another 20 years. Partnering with a dog made it possible for me to safely master necessary skills, such as using public transportation. With a guide dog by my side, I can be more adventurous and try new things.  The timing of my retirement coincided with needing a new guide dog. Theo and I will be defining our new lifestyle and routines together. Our days will be filled with errands, lots of time outside and lunch dates with friends!”

Were there any training highlights?  “While training with Theo, I immediately witnessed his intelligence and accurate memory.  A barricade was set up as an obstacle on a path we were walking.  After practicing twice, we proceeded down the path. The next day, we were walking the same path without the obstacle. Yet, Theo instinctively remembered and paused at the exact location.  Guiding Eyes offers flexible training.  Three of my four trainings took place at the Guiding Eyes campus in New York.  I did Home Training with my 3rd guide dog, as it was a better fit for my schedule at the time. Each option has its benefits. I do prefer training at Guiding Eyes where I not only have the benefit of quality instruction, but also the pleasure of learning from the experiences of my classmates.”

Meet Guide Dog Theodore

DOB: 6/14/2019
Litter ID: 8TT19
Color/Breed: Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Cheryl
Stud: Octane
Littermates: Topaz, Tywin, Triscuit, Tang, Trinity, Tabitha, Tommy, Theon, Trudy
Region:  Maine
Regional Manager: Lisa Bumbalo (Pat Webber)
Puppy Raiser:  Pat Webber
Facebook: Maine Puppy Raisers

Theodore came to me at about 13 weeks old and he was at the stage where his ears were so big for his long legs and he was just so awkwardly adorable. Little did he know that he was moving into life with an RM which involves so many classes and lots of travel. It took some time for him to gain the confidence he needed to travel but he had lots of wonderful sitters to help him learn and grow into his ears. Theodore is so sweet and willing to please and has always been so settled in the house but loves to run and play with other pups too. He really enjoys woods walks, boat rides, swimming and playing in the snow too. He is one of those pups that truly touches your heart with his sweetness and I am incredibly proud of this boy and how far he has come. Theo-adorable!!!

Pat Webber, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the team: