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Leslie and Fame

Meet Graduate Leslie

Leslie and German Shepherd guide dog Fame sit for team portrait

Graduate Team: Leslie and Fame
About the Team: Fame, a black & tan German Shepherd, is Leslie’s 4th guide dog
Hometown: Olympia, Washington
Training: July 2023 On-Campus Training

Leslie was born in California, raised in Texas and currently lives and works in Olympia, Washington, south of Seattle. She received her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Oregon. After working in a few nonprofits, she pursued a graduate degree in Special Education and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility from the University of Northern Colorado. She worked as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments in the public school system before working in her current capacity as an Outreach Specialist for the American Printing House for the Blind. For the past two years she has assisted teachers with their professional development in working with the visually impaired, specifically in technology training, to be incorporated into their student’s education. She travels all over the United States for her job although the majority of her training is done in the Northwest. Leslie lives with her retired guide dog, several chickens and two horses alongside Fame. Her visual impairment was diagnosed at birth, caused by glaucoma and cataracts, leaving her limited vision in one eye. Fame is Leslie’s fourth guide dog and third from Guiding Eyes. 

How would you describe your guide dog? “Fame is playful, goofy and a little nutty. She wants to go, go, go. Fame is the most playful of all my guide dogs. She loves to work when the harness is on her, and she really likes to go to new places and take new routes.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “When I began my search for a guide dog, I researched various agencies much like I researched colleges to apply to. I asked many questions via e-mail and telephone and found that Guiding Eyes was the most open with sharing information, in regard to the school’s philosophy and style and training techniques.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I was a good traveler and able to use a cane easily to get around. However, walking and traveling with a guide dog is smoother and cleaner and much less work. I am more confident traveling for my job having Fame by my side.”

Were there any training highlights? “Kat was my instructor. She was terrific. I liked returning to the Guiding Eyes campus because it enabled me to focus on Fame. The food continued to be very good and traveling via train to Manhattan is always fun, as well as a very helpful part of my training. The class of five students, including myself, was the smallest class I have participated in. My fellow classmates were from all over the country, and we have stayed in touch with each other since graduating.”

Meet Guide Dog Fame

DOB:  3/31/2021
Litter ID: 7F21
Color/Breed:  Black & Tan/German Shepard
Gender: Female
Brood: Jazz GDA
Stud: Eric
Littermates: Flynn, Francine, Flash, Fritz, Felix, Frisco
Region:  Cleveland East, Westchester County
Regional Puppy Instructor: Macy Nauman, Elizabeth Vacchiano
Puppy Raiser:  Rebecca Banfield, Silva Family
Facebook: Ohio Puppy Raisers , Westchester Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…