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Kathryn and Kismet

Meet Graduate Kathryn

Kathryn smiles as she and black Lab guide dog Kismet sit for their team portraitGraduate Team:  Kathryn and Kismet
About the Team:  Kismet, a female black lab, is Kathryn’s 1st guide dog.
Location:  Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Training: March 2024 On-Campus

Kathryn has been an educator for 28 years, working as both a teacher and an administrator. She is currently a vice principal at a secondary school. Kathryn herself is well educated, holding two degrees from the University of British Columbia, a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix and a doctorate from Simon Fraser University. She strives to be a role model to her students with visual and hearing impairments. In her spare time, she plays piano, clarinet and is learning the cello. She enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and of course, going on walks with Kismet!

How would you describe your guide dog? “There are many words to describe Kismet. A few of my favorites are smart, feisty, resilient, hardworking, loyal, intuitive, playful, curious, and beautiful! I am impressed by her vocabulary and how she applies all her knowledge. I describe her as feisty because she is young and has a fun personality. She turned 2 while we were at Guiding Eyes training together. In some ways, Kismet is still a puppy, however, she is calm and professional when necessary. Kismet is intuitive and knows what I need from her. She matches my energy. She is a very special girl!”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “After being on the waiting list with another school for many years, my sister-in-law referred me to a friend of hers who recommended Guiding Eyes. Throughout the application process, I was very impressed with everyone I had contact with at Guiding Eyes. In just under a year, I was matched with Kismet.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I walk taller and more confidently with Kismet. I know I have a companion who will keep me safe. She also gives me a reason to laugh and smile every day!”

Were there any training highlights? “Each person I met and interacted with at Guiding Eyes was a highlight. I am so grateful to all the employees, donors and volunteers who make these special guide dogs available. While at training, the mission statement of Guiding Eyes was shared with our class. It is clear those words direct everything Guiding Eyes does. I wanted to bring everyone, from the trainers to the chef and nurses, home with me! Meeting my classmates and making new friends was also a highlight. We got along so well and continue to communicate, sharing experiences and tips as we work with our guide dogs. I am a musician, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a piano I could play while at Guiding Eyes. That is when I learned that Kismet enjoys music too.”

Meet Guide Dog Kismet

DOB:  2/25/2022
Litter ID: 6K22
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Hetty
Stud: Baron
Littermates: Kendall, Keanu, Klondike, Kathy, Katy, Kokomo, Kansas, Kirk
Region:  SWCT, NoVA-North
Regional Puppy Instructor: Maureen Hollis, Monika Conrad
Puppy Raiser:  The Shipman Family, Katie Meuer
Facebook: Southwest CT Puppy Raisers
Facebook: NoVa North Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Kismet is such an incredible dog! She has this amazing energy that just exudes comfort, love, and connection. She would quickly win over everyone – people, dogs, other animals – she just knows how to make you feel special. She was always ready to try new things and learned so quickly. It was an absolute pleasure to raise her and be a part of her process. I am very excited for this next part of her journey and wish her and Kathryn all the best – I like to think it is kismet that you have found each other! Love you forever Kismet pup! ~ Katie Meuer

Photos of the Team…