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Liane and Kevin

Meet Graduate Liane

Liane sits on a wood bench near a split rail fence and tree in sunshine with yellow Lab guide Kevin

Graduate Team: Liane and Kevin
About the Team: Kevin, a male yellow Lab, is Liane’s 5th Guiding Eyes dog
Location:   Telford, Pennsylvania
Training: September 2023 Home training

Liane is a graduate of Rider University with a degree in Business  Administration. Over the years, she has been employed as a relay operator for the speech and hearing impaired with AT&T, case manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare and also as an Assistive Technology Specialist for the blind and visually impaired. Liane is currently working as an Accessibility Support Specialist at the staffing agency PeopleShare.  Liane had tragically lost her sight due to injuries from a car accident at age 12, and as a teenager she and her parents learned about Guiding Eyes from her mobility instructor. She received intense mobility training, then applied for a guide dog. Liane received her first guide dog, Ivan, in 1984 and when graduating from high school, Ivan accompanied her across the stage in his own cap and tassel. Liane is married with two teenage sons and loves to spend time with her family. She also likes to bake and cook, and enjoys gardening, camping and traveling to the shore. For over 20 years she and her husband have been fond of tandem bicycling, and they enjoy trail rides with their sons. As one of six siblings, family gatherings and travels are an enjoyable pastime.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Kevin is a big lovebug. He is very curious and likes to play with his toys and race around our fenced in backyard. Kevin enjoys taking walks and hanging out with my retired dog, Basil. In harness, Kevin is a very serious worker and is great at finding the targets I have shown him. Although Kevin and I have only been together a month and a half, it is amazing how quickly we have bonded and learned to communicate with each other. Kevin is an excellent worker.” 

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “In 1983, my mobility instructor told me about the school and took me to Guiding Eyes for an interview. I received Ivan the following year. Since I had an excellent working experience with Ivan, after retiring him  in 1992 I went back to Guiding Eyes and received Boston. While I was raising my two sons, I took an 11 year break from having a guide dog, then received Gunther in 2012. I recently retired Basil after working together 11 years. I contacted Guiding Eyes and was accepted for Home Training with Lisa, a Guiding Eyes trainer who came to Pennsylvania to work with Kevin and me.”

How has a guide dog impacted your life?  “A guide dog has  helped me achieve greater independence! I can confidently go wherever and whenever I want. I was recently at the store alone with Kevin and in the last aisle, he stopped, and I felt him look up at me. I asked Kevin what was wrong, and a store worker said that my dog stopped because he was unloading pallets. We could get around him, but it was a tight space. I told Kevin to hup-up and he got me through safely. One thing about having a guide dog is that people are more inclined to approach you and offer assistance. They are a conversation starter. My Guiding Eyes dogs have all travelled well. I have been able to travel all over the country via plane, train and by bus independently. There is an incredible bond and a special communication between a guide dog user and their guide. I am so thankful to Guiding Eyes for having the confidence in me and for raising and training these precious dogs. It is an awesome feeling to know that I can trust my guide dog to get me safely where I want to go.”

Were there any training highlights?  “Kevin was the first dog I received through Home Training, rather than being in a class at Guiding Eyes. Kevin has done an exceptional job adjusting to me, his new handler, and learning his new surroundings. It was great getting to meet Lisa and she was such a pleasure to train with. Even though learning to work with a new guide dog can be challenging at times, we had a lot of fun.” 

Meet Guide Dog Kevin

DOB:  4/14/2021
Litter ID: 2K21
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Oriole
Stud: Arby
Littermates: Kaya, Kodiak, Kenneth
Region:  Montgomery, Columbus
Regional Puppy Instructor: Jeanyne Gembarski, Leslie Stephens
Puppy Raiser:  Allison Weiss, Janet Newcity
Facebook: Montgomery Puppy Raisers
Facebook: OSU Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Since Kevin was home changed to us, we only had him for 5 months. Nevertheless, he made an impression as big as his head! He was so much fun to take places, partly due to his instant “sploots” as soon as we stopped moving. He made himself at home everywhere he went, including a week-long family reunion at a lake or bi-weekly lectures to college students. Everyone who saw him smiled. He was a joy to raise and we are so proud. If he could talk, I’m sure his motto would be “sploot like nobody’s watching.”  ~ Janet Newcity, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…