After graduation, our students look forward to new adventures ahead with their Guiding Eyes guide dog at their side.
Graduation is the culmination of training for our guide dog teams. Graduation ceremonies, whether virtual or in-person, celebrate newly matched guide dog teams and are an opportunity for puppy raisers, volunteers, donors, and supporters to share in the celebration of new independence.
One of the distinctions of Guiding Eyes is that graduates are given the contact information of all raisers involved with their dog and are encouraged to get in touch. Quite often, graduates and raisers develop a friendship that can last a lifetime.
A dedicated hotline is covered by Guide Dog Mobility Instructors during regular business hours for any questions or concerns. We also have Regional GDMIs situated throughout the country who can provide in-person assistance if needed.
Guiding Eyes veterinary staff are available to work in conjunction with graduates’ local veterinarian regarding medical issues. Graduates can receive reimbursement for $500 per year for health-related expenses for their guide dog.
The age of retirement from guide work varies considerably for each dog and is completely dependent upon a number of factors related to the dog’s health, age, and situation. The graduate has first option of adopting the retired guide dog or placing the dog with an approved adopter who is a close friend or family member.
If the graduate chooses not to adopt the dog, it is returned to Guiding Eyes. The puppy raiser will be contacted to determine his or her interest in adopting. If the puppy raiser chooses not to adopt the dog, we look for a home from our waiting list of applicants.