August On-Campus Training
Graduate Team: Lenore and Hachi
About the Team: Hachi, a male yellow Lab, is Lenore’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Andrea Martine
Lenore is married and she and her husband have two adult children. She holds an associate of arts degree in computer science from Ohlone College in Fremont, CA, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento, becoming the University’s first DeafBlind graduate. She also did graduate course work in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling at CSUS. As a member of the DeafBlind community, she is active as Vice President of NCADB – Northern California Association of DeafBlind. She would like to be more involved in the DeafBlind communication technology field by becoming an assistive technology instructor, working with DeafBlind individuals and their AT needs and equipment. She participates in email and Facebook groups for assistive technology for persons who are blind and DeafBlind. Lenore enjoys reading, swimming, long walks and working with assistive technology on different computers and mobile devices. She likes spending time with her friends and family.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Hachi is my second guide dog and very different from my first, Hobbs, who was a black Labrador. Hachi is more excited about doing things, especially being in water. He likes to play like a fool and kiss me a lot! He really loves me and is a hard worker in harness.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I applied to Guiding Eyes for multiple reasons. First, I had a wonderful experience with my first guide Hobbs, and second, because Guiding Eyes has a very good program for training guide dogs for people who are deaf and blind.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Fourteen years ago, when I got my first guide I could go to school, and I didn’t need people with me all the time. I was independent. That was a long time ago, and now with Hachi, I don’t always need someone with me wherever I go. Having a guide dog enables me to take long walks for exercise in my neighborhood. Also, having a guide dog will also enable me to travel for work once I gain employment. I feel more independent, so I love it.”
Were there any training highlights? “It’s been many years so there have been many changes, like in the training methods and use of assistive technology. Back then we didn’t even have crates in the dorm rooms. There has been a change in harnesses. I had to learn how to use a Unifly harness, and a redesigned harness which is known as the Bold Lead Design, or BLD harness. I can use both types of harnesses, but the BLD harness is a very different design from the traditional harness. It helps me with my balance issues.”
Litter ID: 5H19-S
Littermates: Hansa, Hickory, Harriet, Haiku, Hedda
Region: Southern Tier NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: Cassie Houghton
Puppy Raiser: Pamela White & Burt Saunders
Facebook: Southern Tier Puppy Raisers
Special Recognition: Hachi was Special Named by Mr. and Mrs. Kuni Nakamura and family and is also a Pathfinder Pup. Her progress was followed by a Pathfinder Society Member – someone who remembered Guiding Eyes in their estate plans received reports and photos of her from puppyhood.
I always felt that Hachi was destined to do great things. His greatest strengths were his sweet nature, eagerness to try anything new, and determination. He could be a bit of a goof, and his energy level was at times overwhelming, but he just had a way of connecting with people – everyone he met simply loved him. Hachi loved long walks in the country, and most were uneventful, but once I got lost in the woods. Hachi led us home. Another evening I was walking with Hachi and my older dog. At the top of a hill, I tripped and fell hard. I’d dropped both leashes and the dogs were heading to an open field. Before I could call them, Hachi and Aily were back, standing over me, making sure I was OK. What I enjoyed most about raising Hachi was watching him grow from a cute puppy to a maturing young dog. He could be challenging at times, but he kept learning and growing. He never gave up. When I sent him to training, I wondered if the responsibility of becoming a guide dog would change him. What I discovered was that the trainers really understood Hachi – his personality, his challenges, his willing and joyful spirit. And now Hachi is doing what he was meant to do, having mastered the skills he needs to be a guide while keeping all those wonderful qualities.
Pamela White, Puppy Raiser