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Joicee and Junie

Meet Residential Training Graduate Joicee

Graduate Joicee sits on a bench beside black Lab guide dog JunieGraduate Team: Joicee and Junie
About the Team: Junie, a female black Lab, is Joicee’s first guide dog
Hometown:  Boston, Massachusetts
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Marybeth Heady

Joicee is a sophomore at Suffolk University in Boston studying Psychology, with a goal of one day having a career working with young adults and teenagers. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music, going out to eat, and the occasional scrapbooking project. Joicee lives in a dormitory during the school year, but during her breaks, she lives in Burlington, Massachusetts with her parents, two little sisters, and their Yorkshire Terrier.  Now, her first guide dog, black Lab Junie, is happy to have joined the family.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Junie is sweet, loving, and silly. She’s always ready to play, but also loves to nap – just like me! She can be sassy, when making faces like, ‘where’s my treat?’ She’s become very attached and sometimes looks at me super lovingly and thoughtfully, but other times she’s like, ‘let’s play, let’s play.’ Her nickname is Junie Bug, but when she goes fast her nickname is Lightning Bug.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I wanted to gain more independence. I wanted to be able to travel to new places without worrying about stairs and stuff like that. I got forms completed and had my interviews and then then waited until I got Junie in August 2021. I chose Guiding Eyes because they’re close by, and also I know someone who went there for their guide dog and had a good experience.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog has definitely made me feel more independent, but also just mental health-wise, she’s been a great help. Having her here, cuddling her and everything, has been amazing. She makes me so happy.”

Were there any training highlights?  “One of the cute things she did, was when I asked her to heel, she’d do it super-fast and then ‘smile’. Then she’d be sitting there like, “let’s go, let’s go, let’s go”. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. She’d do it with this smile on her face and that’s how I knew she was excited and ready and just the best girl ever.”

Meet Guide Dog Junie

Junie is super smart and super sweet. She was awesome when she attended large lectures at the University of Delaware and during Covid visited doctors at a hospital. We really enjoyed our shopping trips to Trader Joe’s and taking long walks together. What I enjoyed the most about raising her was that Junie is so sweet and has such a warm bubbly personality. She was always so happy. She has lots of energy, but could settle nicely too! So proud of Junie ! Thank you to everyone involved in helping her get to this level, to be able to succeed in such important work as being a guide dog.

Julia Schayes, Puppy Raiser of Junie

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