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Jaydene and Nita

Meet Graduate Jaydene

Jaydene in a beige chair, and Nita sit for their team portrait Graduate Team:  Jaydene and Nita
About the Team:  Nita, a female yellow Lab, is Jaydene’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Location:  Bronx, New York
Training: February 2023 On-Campus

Jaydene is a returning graduate, having received her first guide dog, Licorice, from Guiding Eyes in 2014. She studied hospitality in Buffalo before returning to work in NYC. Jaydene lost her sight as a teenager and received services from a local agency. She currently works for that same agency, providing technology support and training for those with vision loss. She enjoys giving back to the blind community by helping others navigate their challenges and find their way through them with as many tools as possible.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Nita is very sweet, warm, and affectionate. She is calm and well mannered. People always comment on what a pretty dog she is.  It did not take long for Nita and me to adapt to each other.  We have gotten very close, and she is always by my side. Nita is eager to work and likes to be out and on the go! She is very strong, and I sense her eagerness and strength through the harness. Together we found our stride and a comfortable pace.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “Prior to getting my first guide dog, Licorice, I realized how much more quickly my friends with guide dogs walked! I was having trouble keeping up. I also observed the independence they had, so I decided to take the leap and apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes.  Living in the greater New York City area, Guiding Eyes is a household name and local favorite.  I never considered another school; Guiding Eyes is familiar, accessible and they excel at what they do!”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I have a much greater sense of independence.  I like to say, that a guide dog is the ‘fine wine of mobility and travel.’ My options include a sighted friend whose schedule may not fit my own, or a cane, which I find can be slow and exhausting, requiring constant concentration. I much prefer the guide dog option! My guide dog is always with me and ready to go! With Nita, I can get wherever I need to, the fastest and safest way possible.”   

Were there any training highlights?  “I trained at the Guiding Eyes campus in Yorktown Heights, NY.  It was just as amazing an experience this time as it was in 2014 when I got my first guide dog.  Some of the training techniques and approaches have changed or evolved, but the hospitality and quality of the training remain excellent!  Everyone went out of their way to make sure each student had a wonderful experience. The trainers were dedicated but kept it lighthearted and interesting. It was a great environment in which to learn. I’m so grateful.   My training was well tailored to my needs and lifestyle.  Since I am always in an urban environment, that is how I wanted to train.”

Meet Guide Dog Nita

DOB:  2/19/2020
Litter ID: 2N20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Orly 
Stud: Higgins
Littermates: Nyssa, Noah, Nanette, Newport, Neutron
Region:  Monroe NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: MeKalea Chambliss
Puppy Raiser:  Susan Chamberlin
Facebook: Monroe Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser

Nita will make you laugh…every single day.  She loves hanging out in the bathtub and hiding under my bed.  She loves excursions…she’s a social butterfly.  Her eyesight and hearing are incredible. She’s a very special puppy…not only in skills and house manners, but in personality, sensitivity, awareness, and playfulness. She bought joy into my extended family’s life when it was needed the most, and created happy memories at a time when we didn’t think it possible. She was there at family gatherings, weddings, baby showers, parties, and quiet moments, bringing us unconditional love and attention.  “In this big world, she’s a little thing, but in all the ways that matter, including the effect she has upon those who love her, she lives a big life.” ~ Susan Chamberlin, Raiser

Photos of the Team…