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Kortnee and Ada

Meet Graduate Kortnee

Kortnee and yellow Lab guide dog Ada sit for their team portraitGraduate Team: Kortnee and Ada
About the Team: Ada, a female yellow lab, is Kortnee’s 2nd guide dog, 1st Guiding Eyes
Location: Syracuse, Utah
Training:  April 2024 On-Campus

Kortnee comes to Guiding Eyes for her second guide dog, a yellow Lab, Ada. They live in Syracuse, Utah with Kortnee’s parents, their dog Koda, and her retired guide dog Juno. Kortnee earned her bachelor’s degree in teaching the blind and visually impaired from the University of Utah. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in vision rehabilitation therapy from Western Michigan University. When she is not concentrating on her academic studies, she enjoys reading, walking, playing video games, and watching TV. Kortnee has a love of the arts and enjoys listening to music and playing the flute, as well as attending plays and musicals.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Ada loves to have fun. She loved licking my face from the start, licking my face like crazy when we first met. When she’s out of harness she loves to play. When she’s in harness, she’s all work, which is nice, and businesslike. She doesn’t even acknowledge people she knows while she’s working. She tried to eat an ice cube today -she couldn’t quite figure out how, although she was trying so hard.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I know a lot of people who have guide dogs from Guiding Eyes, and they seemed great. My friends encouraged me to go with Guiding Eyes instead of the other schools I was looking at. It was a great decision to come here.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “It’s hard to see it when you’re so close, but from what people have told me and what I’ve noticed, it has impacted everything. This guide dog trusts you and you trust them. There are places I go to now that I probably would have hesitated to go to before. There are things I do now I never would have thought I’d enjoy, like hiking. I hate hiking with a cane – it’s not very fun, but hiking with a dog is so great and I absolutely enjoy it. A guide dog helps out in such small ways that sometimes you don’t even realize. They’re part of your life and with you all the time. They’re your companion and when you need someone to cuddle with, they’re there for that and they’re there to work.”

Were there any training highlights? “Guiding Eyes does escalator training differently than my previous school, and that was a nice change. I like the Guiding Eyes way better, because it seems safer than my first school’s method. I’m happy to learn an easier way. Also, when I was on campus, I went on a hike with another person, and it was really fun. The food at Guiding Eyes was awesome too!”

Meet Guide Dog Ada

DOB:  5/1/2022
Litter ID: 3AA22
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Elton
Stud: Vanna
Littermates: Angus, Ambie, Aladdin, Avril, Arthur, Albert
Region:  Monroe NY, Erie NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: MeKalea Chambliss, Cassie Houghton
Puppy Raiser:  Karie Livingston, The Maracle Family
Facebook: Monroe NY Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Erie NY Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Our family absolutely loved raising Ada. She would go to school with Allison everyday and be surrounded by up and coming vet assistant and tech students. She handled every situation with grace and was loved by everyone at school and the neighborhood. She was raised with a rough coated collie who quickly showed her the ropes around home. Ada loved going to Chestnut Ridge Park for walks and hikes. We know she will be a wonderful partner for her graduate. Best of luck!  ~ Allison Maracle and family 

Photos of the Team…