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Jose and Ulysses

Meet Graduate Jose

Graduate Jose and yellow Lab guide dog UlyssesGraduate Team:  Jose and Ulysses
About the Team:  Ulysses, a male yellow Lab, is Jose’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Chicago, Illinois
Training: September 2022 On-Campus Training

Jose is an avid traveler who loves the opportunity to explore new places, with the goal of visiting every state in the U.S. So far, he’s traveled to eight states, and Los Angeles, California is one of his favorite places to visit because of the weather. Jose works as a product support specialist for Apple and has volunteered at community events hosted by Apple. Recently, he volunteered at an event for adults and children who are seeking shelter in the United States and hoping to learn more about technology. He likes working at Apple because of these volunteer opportunities and their generosity toward matching their employees’ donations to charity. He also enjoys going out for walks, eating with his friends, and hanging out by Lake Michigan. Jose’s close with family that lives in the area and can often be found spending time with his parents, two sisters, brother, niece, and his two cats.

How would you describe your guide dog? “When he’s out of his harness, he’s really playful and he loves the attention. He seeks out attention, either with my family or at work, but he enjoys it. When Ulysses went to work with me one day, he was in harness in a crowd of people and calmly sat under the table.  He knows that he needs to stay quietly when I have to work. He’s awesome, and I think we’re a pretty good match.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I was using a cane and had a friend with a guide dog from Guiding Eyes. I was like, you know what – it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try, for my work and me.  It’s been working out. I don’t regret it.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “When we’re out and about, I really don’t have to strain to figure things out. Ulysses and I have been working together on getting around and I will say it’s been really helpful.”

Were there any training highlights? “Everything was positive, from training with Kat, which was awesome, to getting Ulysses. When getting Ulysses, I was nervous about figuring out if we would be a match. I liked having the two-week training and the things that we did at the school. Overall, it was great.”

Meet Guide Dog Ulysses

DOB: 3/15/2020
Litter ID: 3U20
Color/Breed: Yellow/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Oriole
Stud: Kaplan
Littermates: Louis, Umberto, Ursula, Uma
Region: Dutchess NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: Elizabeth Vacchiano
Puppy Raiser:  Susan Spadafora
Facebook: Dutchess Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Ulysses is a sweet, gentle and friendly, sometimes goofy guy. He started out as a tiny, sleepy ball of cuddly fur, and grew into a handsome, intelligent and strong dog. He is awesome at problem solving and loves puzzle toys. He will work just as hard for a treat as a kiss or for his favorite toy. He was raised with his momma dog and she is his very favorite. He was raised during the city shutdown and we visited restaurants, the subway, stores, malls, the post office and many medical facilities and even arcades. He was always a gentleman, curious and well behaved. He loves the beach, and swimming or splashing in water. At a movie theatre he loved the Paw Patrol characters as much as my tiny nieces did. He tackled every new lesson enthusiastically. At work at a busy pediatric practice he behaved perfectly in his “spot”, coming out only when invited. Saying hello to the puppy quickly replaced stickers and lollipops at the end of a medical visit. Ulysses never lost his puppy wiggle, never met a dog, child, kitten, rabbit, squirrel or person he didn’t love, and is an expert at group doggy play, chase, fetch and tug. He likes to climb, hike and run, especially with other dogs. I loved everything about him and hope that you will love him as much as I do. He is an awesome dog who is destined for greatness!! ~Susan Spadafora, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the team…