Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Linda and Libby

Meet December Home Training Graduate Linda

Graduate Linda and black Lab guide dog LibbyGraduate Team:  Linda and Libby
About the Team:  Libby, a female black Lab, is Linda’s 9th guide dog
Hometown:  Albany, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor:  Ben Cawley

Linda is originally from Michigan and attended Michigan University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in General Studies and her Law degree. Linda received her first guide dog at the age of 19.  Retired since late 2012, as an Attorney for the State of New York, Linda lives in the state’s capital with her husband of forty years. She and Larry have raised two daughters. Linda enjoys reading, music and learning, currently spending a good amount of time on technology, as she tackles the challenges of moving from a Windows to an Apple environment.  Linda participates in activities through her church groups, such as virtual choir, where members learn pieces and record them separately, to be edited after into one musical piece.  Linda does a lot of recreational walking, especially since the pandemic has kept her from visiting restaurants or attending the concerts and theater she enjoys so much, with her husband and friends. Linda and Larry have always loved traveling as well, having taken trips abroad and multiple cruises.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Libby is very sweet, has a very calm and composed demeanor and settled in quickly. She loves people and possesses a playful streak.  She provides me with unconditional love and affection.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “When I moved to New York I researched schools and quickly learned that Guiding Eyes had a wonderful reputation. I’ve received several of my dogs from the school and never had a reason to go elsewhere. The training is outstanding. Guiding Eyes always works to be better, and the staff is very dedicated.  Whenever I return, the training has changed, just a bit. That’s always important and what makes Guiding Eyes such a good school.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I’ve never been a comfortable or confident cane traveler, feeling much more freedom and independence when with a guide dog. It’s especially true, now that my husband and I are older, that I feel safer and more comfortable working with a dog.  I can’t imagine life without a guide dog. It’s a part of my identity and it’s a part of me to have a dog.  It’s the way I do things.”

Were there any training highlights? “At the onset of my home training, Libby, without hesitation, entered our house, sniffed around and settled in very quickly. Ben Cawley, my home trainer and I, have worked collaboratively in the past and with Libby. Ben is easy going, solution based, and made the training experience fun. During my training he provided Libby and I with a runners’ harness, although I am not a runner, which made a huge difference in my training. One of the highlights of my training was to explore my condominium neighborhood, which has no street corners. The units are built on cul-de-sacs.  There aren’t any crosswalks. Libby initially hesitated making left turns due to the lack of street corners. Using the navigation app, Soundscape, which is available to Guiding Eyes trainers, we were able to create a route using sewer grids as landmarks to train around all the community’s cul-de-sacs. This enabled Libby and I to pass by scenic wetlands situated throughout the development. Our training also included trips to CVS, restaurants, and a local mall.  All in all, training was a huge success story thanks to Ben and his creativity.”    

Meet Guide Dog Libby

One of Libby’s greatest traits is how affectionate and independent she is. Even though it was a challenge at first, after a while Libby finally loved the boat and being on the water. She enjoyed being in different areas around the lake and being out and about. Her independence and friendliness towards everyone made her so enjoyable to raise. We hope you enjoy Libby as much as we did.

Anna and Melissa Coleman, Puppy Raisers of Libby

Libby was a lucky pup to have been raised by Team Libby. She was with 3 different families for her puppy raising. We were her 3rd family. Libby was with us for about 9 months but I knew her from her spunky puppy days. Libby loves to learn and work and used her determination and independent thinking well. She loved to be with me or nearby most of the time and especially when it time for a walk. She loved to go on outings no matter where it was. She was amazing at figuring out what was expected at each different outing. Libby was fortunate to have our released GEB pup Jordy to live, run, and play with. They became the best of friends. Libby is a love and was a joy to raise and I know she will be a great companion as she learns to be part of your team.

Sandy Mun, Puppy Raiser of Libby

Enjoy these photos of the team and Libby as a pup on program…