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Jaylen and Carly

Meet Graduate Jayden

Jaylen and yellow Lab guide dog Carly sit for their team portraitGraduate Team: Jaylen and Carly
About the team: Carly, a female yellow lab, is Jaylen’s 1st guide dog
Location: Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania
Training: May 2024 On-Campus

Jaylen is a rising junior at Kutztown University, where she is studying visual impairment education. On campus, Jaylen is a member of several clubs and organizations including Braille Bears, the Council for Exceptional Children, and Spread the Word to End the Word. When not at school, Jaylen lives at home with her parents, two of her three sisters, their Aussie-doodle, Ace, and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Kit. Jaylen’s other sister and young niece are close by. In her free time, she enjoys walking, hanging out with friends and family, reading, and finger-crocheting blankets. Jaylen is looking forward to taking Carly on a big beach trip next summer with her suitemates.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She’s very focused while working and is incredibly smart. Whenever she’s off harness, she is so laid back but with these silly, goofy moments that are so funny! She loves it when I let her run through my legs, and whenever she’s getting belly rubs she gets this extra big smile on her face. She sleeps next to my bed on her massive dog bed, and I often sit down there with her. She likes taking naps and snores whenever she gets into a really deep sleep. We started referring to her as the princess when it comes to the heat. In the car with my sister recently, Carly held her face up to the air conditioning. My sister turned it down and Carly gave her a look like, ‘Really?’ until she turned it back up!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I did quite a bit of research into different guide dog schools. Seeing the work Guiding Eyes puts into customizing training to what clients need, and providing a dog that can work in specific environments, was a big part of my decision to come here. I am on campus when I’m at school, but I live in a pretty rural area when I’m at home. We’ve had to work through distraction since coming home and there are a lot of animals and frogs at night, which is different from what she’ll see at school. At home, we’re doing more calm things and she’s perfectly okay with that. We do a daily exercise route where she gets to experience really rural areas, but she also enjoys busier environments. It’s nice that they were able to give me a dog that enjoys both.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “We’ve already done a trip to a small amusement park and it’s super cool how much faster I travel with her. I have more independence and confidence. I’m super excited to go to college and feel more confident and independent traveling on campus. I’m looking forward to navigating that with her. I plan to go early to get her used to it. I’m close with both of my suitemates and they are super excited, so I think it’s going to be a great experience. Carly is so incredible, and it has been great learning her personality and how to help her understand how to do different things.”

Were there any training highlights? “During group play all of the dogs were running, chasing, and playing with one another. Carly did this for ten minutes and then just stared at me intently. I let her up on the bench with me and she just laid on my lap for the rest of playtime. Another group play time she did it again. I tried so hard to get her to play. I was like, ‘Carly! Break! Go play!’ and eventually, the trainers would say, ‘Jaylen, guess where Carly is.’ She would be staring at me, waiting to jump into my lap. At the mall doing clicker training, she picked it up on it so fast! The trainers said, ‘We’re just building motivation.’ Carly knew where she wanted to go, so she was going faster and faster and my trainer and I were laughing. She was speed walking to those steps! We did it fast two times and then they said we could tell her ‘Steady’, to slow down. She’s incredibly food-motivated and knows how to get the food! She has so many different sides to her personality and that’s what I think is so funny about her!

Meet Guide Dog Carly

DOB:  1/8/2022
Litter ID: 8C22
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Buttons
Stud: Elton
Littermates: Cara, Cody, Candy, Cassidy, Brody
Region:  New Hampshire
Regional Puppy Instructor: Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser:  Kaitlyn & Craig Gallagher
Facebook: New Hampshire Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Carly was just a dream puppy to raise. She was our fourth pup on program and even from day one she had this calm maturity about her, more than any other puppy we’ve raised. But she also loved to play and was always up for an adventure! We loved taking Carly with us because she was up for anything and was just happy to be with us. We even brought her camping and she slept in the tent like a pro! Carly will always have a special place in our hearts and we know she and her person are going to have an amazing journey together. ~Kait & Craig Gallagher 

Photos of the Team…