Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Jason and Norton

Thank you to our generous May Graduates Sponsor…

“The University of Rhode Island Puppy Raisers Club wishes the graduate teams good luck in their new partnerships!”

Meet May Residential Training Graduate Jason

Graduate Jason and Norton are all smiles on a sunny outdoor benchGraduate Team:  Jason and Norton
About the Team: Norton, a male black Lab, is Jason’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Greensboro, North Carolina
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Lori Busse

Jason is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied Economics & Statistics.  He is currently living in Greensboro, but will soon be moving to Raleigh, where he and guide dog Norton will attend graduate school together, as Jason works towards a master’s in Analytics. This will be familiar territory for Norton, who as a pup, lived in Raleigh with his puppy raiser. Jason’s long term goal is to work for a nonprofit, using his analytical skills to help important causes, such as bettering education or environmental conservation. In his free time, Jason enjoys watching sports and staying active by playing basketball and running.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Norton is both energetic and laid back. He can match any energy level and vibe. If I have to work, he will just lay back and relax, but then be ready to walk 3 miles. He loves to play tug with toys – even his bones that aren’t big enough to tug with. Everybody loves him.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I applied to a few different schools, but went with Guiding Eyes because of the Running Guides program. I want to be active as long as possible, so the program was the number one reason I chose the school. Coming to Guiding Eyes has been a great experience.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog gives you the confidence to do a lot more things and the ability to go anywhere. You have to be cautious with a cane, but with Norton I can walk a lot faster. With a cane, people don’t really understand it and don’t always get out of the way, but people are way more accommodating with a guide dog. With Norton, I can take on any place very quickly.”

Were there any training highlights? “Most of my vision is based off of any light, so at night I have zero vision. We did night training, and that walk was very thrilling, because it was the first time I could walk full speed, by myself, outside at night! I had vision before and I don’t remember the last time I was able to walk that fast outside. Norton did it without any flaws; he did it perfectly.”

Meet Guide Dog Norton

One of Norton’s greatest traits was his willingness to do and try new things. He was almost unflappable. He’s always happy, his tail is always wagging, and it makes everyone else happy too. We went to a July 4th parade with all kinds of crazy cars, motorized trikes, costumes, firetruck lights flashing and sirens blaring, with lots of noise and spectators. Norton was great, unfazed by everything and only excited to be with us.  I loved to take him swimming. Norton loved to play in the water and it was a joy to watch him. I also like to take him to athletic events, we both loved to watch the action, though the bleachers could be a little tricky. I enjoyed being able to spend time with him. It was great to watch him grow and see how far he’s come.

Elli Brna, Puppy Raisers of Norton

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