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Latif and Sugar

Meet Graduate Latif

Latif sits with yellow Lab Guide dog Sugar on an outdoor bench in their team portrait

Graduate Team:  Latif and Sugar
About the Team:  Sugar, a female yellow Lab is Latif’s 6th guide dog and 3rd from Guiding Eyes
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Training: August 2023 On-Campus

Latif left Egypt, the country where he was born, in 1981 in pursuit of higher education in the United States. Together, Latif and his wife embarked on a new chapter in their lives, and since that time his academic achievements have been significant, earning two master’s degrees and ultimately his PhD.  With a background in Educational Leadership and Counseling, Latif’s expertise and experience have led to working as a professor at Western Michigan University and as a mental health counselor for the State of Michigan. Previously, as an undergraduate student he had studied in England and traveled extensively in Europe. Latif still enjoys travel and every few years returns to spend time in Egypt. Latif got his first guide dog in 1996.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Sugar is as sweet as her name! She is well trained and doing a great job. Sugar is attentive and quick to respond. She is very protective of me. We work well in harmony with each other. When her harness goes on, she is like a soldier at attention. When she is not in her harness, she is very funny and playful.  Sugar and my grandkids love playing together.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “I consider myself a well-educated and savvy consumer.  Based on my research and experience, Guiding Eyes offers quality, well trained dogs. I recommend Guiding Eyes to anyone looking for an excellent guide dog from an excellent school”.

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “A guide dog really enhances my life and Sugar and I are co-dependent upon each other. A guide dog provides security that cannot come from a cane.”

Were there any training highlights? “I trained at the Guiding Eyes campus.  I appreciate the individualized training and services Guiding Eyes offers. Rather than going into New York City, I opted to train in a medium sized city. Nearby White Plains, NY is similar in size and features to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I live. It was a great place to train and simulated the environment Sugar and I are in every day. Aside, from my training with Sugar, the hospitality and outstanding food Guiding Eyes offers was a highlight!”

Meet Guide Dog Sugar

DOB:  5/26/2021
Litter ID: 1S21
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Brio
Stud: Kisco
Littermates: Scout, Simba, Splash, Sunny, Sawyer, Siggy, Sammi
Region:  Fingerlakes
Regional Puppy Instructor: Cassie Houghton
Puppy Raiser:   Madeleine Guerrier
Facebook: Fingerlakes Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

There is no name better for a dog this sweet. Sugar has a heart so big she can barely contain it, and she always has. Since day 1 she is a very intuitive dog and always wants to be with her person to make them feel better. She was happy to be with me, whether we were running a quick errand or simply lounging at home. Her expressive face and silly ears are bound to catch hearts wherever she goes, and I cannot wait to see what the new team gets up to. Congrats to Latif and Sugar!  ~ Maddie Guerrier, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…