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Jasmin and Osa

Meet Graduate Jasmin

Graduate Team: Jasmin & Osa
About the Team: Osa, a female black lab, is Jasmin’s 2nd guide dog
Hometown:  New York, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Lori Busse
February On-Campus Training

Jasmin lives in New York, NY with her cat Loki and guide dog, Osa. Jasmin works remotely for Universal Studios where she takes dining reservations for guests.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising, studying the art of making mixed drinks, and learning how to edit videos. Jasmin also enjoys going out with her friends who live nearby.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Osa is such a fast learner. When we go to new places she likes to look around. She’s always sitting there, head moving back and forth just watching. She’s quite literally my eyes. She’s always watching! She can be very silly and curious. When she naps and I’m on the floor with her, she’ll wrap herself around me and sleep like that. Even if I’m sitting on the couch and my hand is dangling off, she’ll situate herself around it. It’s so sweet.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I first met a guide dog when I was nine years old when I attended a school for the blind in the Bronx and Guiding Eyes came to visit. We had field trips to Guiding Eyes every few years after that. It’s funny because I had said to my mom right after my first visit, ‘Mommy, when I graduate high school, I’m going to get a guide dog.’ Well, I graduated from high school in June of 2012 and graduated from Guiding Eyes in July of 2012. My experience was so great the first time I knew I could never go anywhere else.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Traveling with a cane is such slow travel. In NYC there is just so much happening and crowds everywhere and with a cane it takes forever to go from point A to Point B. I had to figure it out with my cane, but I had been traveling with my first guide for 9 years. To go from moving at the speed of light to having to tiptoe and bump around people was like being in a car moving full speed and then suddenly slamming to a stop. Also, as a blind woman, it makes you feel safer to have a dog. I know how to keep myself safe with a cane, but I don’t necessarily have that feeling of safety because people may take advantage. I don’t have that concern as much with a guide.”

Were there any training highlights?  “We were doing a route to the shopping center in White Plains, and we were waiting for the light. All of the sudden these fire trucks came squealing around the corner very close, and Osa backed us up so fast! It was awesome and will be so good in NYC. Trucks come so close to the corners in NYC, so it was great to see her response to it. When we went to NYC during training, a highlight was the way she walked confidently and fast, and without a hitch in her step, through the crowds of Grand Central. It was like, wow, to be able to move like that in NYC again! When we made it home and I showed her how to get to my building, I thought to myself, ‘I’m free again.’ I loved experiencing getting back on a train with a guide again. To be back on six legs is a highlight within itself. Knowing that I can go to a neighborhood twice and by the third time Osa’s zeroed in on it, is incredible. She’s so smart.”

Meet Guide Dog Osa

 

Osa is a warm, lovable, but serious dog. We enjoyed the smiles she brought to people when we were on outings. But our favorite activity with Osa was watching her delight, jumping into the pool and retrieving a ball. We hope that Jasmin and Osa form a great bond and assist each other in their continued growth! Best wishes to both of you!

Mark and Barb Reindel, Puppy Raisers of Osa

 

Enjoy these photos of the team and Osa as a pup on program…