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Jose and Louis

Meet Graduate Jose

Jose and yellow Lab guide dog in blue harness, pose for team portrait Graduate Team: Jose and Louis
About the Team: Louis, a male yellow Lab, is Jose’s 3rd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Training: December 2022 On-Campus

Jose returns for his third guide dog from Guiding Eyes. In 2002 he lost much of his vision because of glaucoma, leaving him with minimal light and movement perception. Jose, 53, and his wife, Carla, a marine biologist, reside in Deerfield Beach, located in close proximity to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They have been married for 14 years and have a 13 year old daughter, Andrea. Jose was educated in Germany and Venezuela, getting both his M.B.A. and a J.D. degree. He currently holds the position of Executive Vice President for the Broward Lighthouse for the Blind. In addition, he sits on the Board of Directors for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a policy and procedure advocate for passengers with special needs. In his free time, he enjoys being outdoors, fishing, boating, and scuba diving.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Louis is well trained. He is always relaxed and mellow, but simultaneously very caring and aware of his surroundings. When working he is right on target and I am told by others that he is always looking to maintain vision contact with me, whether working, playing or relaxing. When not working he loves socializing with other dogs.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I received many positive recommendations from former guide dog users, when I was accessing the Lighthouse’s services after losing my vision. One of my instructors had a Guiding Eyes dog and highly recommended the school. I come back to Guiding Eyes because I truly believe that they are the best dogs, and more important, a team of extraordinary instructors are ready and willing to change our lives in a fantastic way.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog was a life changing experience for me. Almost immediately I felt that the part of me that I lost, my vision, was back once I received my first guide dog. I became independent again and was able to attend to my daily activities without relying on other people’s schedules. It was really transformational.”

Were there any training highlights? “I was fortunate to work with two long term Guiding Eyes instructors, Michelle and Kat. They provided a great deal of reassurance and self-confidence in me from day one. I was also very happy to learn upon my arrival on campus that there were old familiar faces, still employed at the school.  Also, the quality of the guide dog assigned to me made us a perfect match. I might add that the cuisine was very good and the room accommodations, excellent.”

Meet Guide Dog Louis

DOB:  3/15/2020
Litter ID: S-1U20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Oriole
Stud: Kaplan
Littermates: Umberto, Ulysses, Ursula, Uma
Region:  Shenandoah
Regional Puppy Instructor: Leslie Stephens
Puppy Raiser:  The Dorsey Family
Facebook: Shenandoah Puppy Raisers

Special Recognition: Louis was special named in honor of Louis Brause by Earl Reiss and was also a Pathfinder Pup. A Pathfinder Society member – an individual who has made a future legacy gift to Guiding Eyes – received reports and photos of Louis’s progress from puppyhood to graduation.

From the Puppy Raiser…

Raising Louis was one of the greatest joys of my life! He came to us at 6 weeks and quickly became the darling of our family and his three furry friends. Louis was so quick to learn, and you always felt like he was looking into your soul with those big, expressive eyes and his forehead wrinkles! Our big goofy boy was always ready for a challenge, and loved his toys and having something in his mouth! Louis loved his outings to the mall and the library in town and everyone always commented on his handsome-ness. 🙂 We all loved how affectionate he was and how he stared at you as if to read your thoughts. Louis was up for anything on the days we felt energetic, or up to not much on the days we weren’t. If he was in high school, he would have won “best all around” and of course, “best looking”. ~ Leyla Dorsey, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…