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Marcie and Kobe

Meet Graduate Marcie

Marcie sits in her home with black Lab guide dog Kobe sitting between her feetGraduate Team: Marcie and Kobe
About the Team: Kobe, a male black Lab, is Marcie’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Location: Owensville, Missouri
Training: November 2023 Home Training

Marcie was born in Missouri and attended the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis. After high school, she studied medical transcription at St. Louis College of Business and for four years worked as a typist for the U.S. Civil Service Commission. During a brief break to enjoy married life, they bought a computer and Marcie advanced her word processing skills. She went on to attend The Vanderschmidt Secretarial School in St. Louis. While she was there, she transcribed 40 hours of tape from a seminar on Post-Polio Syndrome, prompting the school’s Executive Director to request that Marcie demonstrate this new computer program at their open house. She demonstrated not only the program, but ingenuity as well, personalizing a program document for each person by including her employment search and contact info. It paid off when an attendee, Mrs. Paine, requested her resume to take home to her husband. Dr. Paine was the Chief of the Division of Cardiology at a local hospital and was so impressed he called Vanderschmidt before she had left for the evening. They spoke again the next day and subsequently she met with his office manager and was hired on the spot. Marcie found Dr. Paine to be a wonderful man and boss for the next 5 years, as she worked as the chief transcriptionist for the Division of Cardiology.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Kobe is wonderful, cute, has a soft coat, and enjoys wagging his tail at me.  He enjoys playing in the house and coming to me to let me love him.  In harness, he is great in places like Walmart, and he does very well at my church.  In my neighborhood, the sidewalks are not good, and it is difficult for me to differentiate between approaching a driveway versus sidewalk pavement, but he is a very good and cautious guide.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “In the late 1960’s I had a teacher who had a guide dog from Guiding Eyes. Guiding Eyes takes the time to make sure that you and the dog are going to work well together.  They assess and match the dog to the new partner.”

How has a guide dog impacted your life? “My dog Porter from Guiding Eyes, and now Kobe, have been sensational. Kobe goes to church with me and takes me to the choir loft and my robe, and sits quietly through the service. I can’t wait for Palm Sunday and Easter when the choir processes into the sanctuary and Kobe will be with me.  I’ve got my life back. I can see again. This is for me!”

Were there any training highlights?  “Jim was my home instructor and we practiced going to Walmart, eating at fast food and other restaurants, and of course, going to and from and inside the church. I was so happy for the years I had with Porter and now I’m happy having Kobe. I have every reason to believe that we are going to be a wonderful working team.”

Meet Guide Dog Kobe

DOB:  7/27/2021
Litter ID: 6KK21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Crumpet
Stud: Dasher
Littermates: Kai, Kava, Kennedy, Kelley, Kate, Keats, Kona, Krissy
Region: Maine
Regional Puppy Instructor: Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser: Rona Spear and Family
Facebook: Maine Puppy Raisers


From the Puppy Raiser…

I became a first time puppy raiser in October 2021 and so happy that I did. Kobe is an amazing dog. His manner, temperament, obedience and soulful eyes make him an absolute joy. As he matured month by month and progressed very well through his skills training, it became clear he would make a wonderful service dog. A standout moment for Kobe was our first restaurant experience, busy place, noisy, close quarters, lots of distractions, and he absolutely nailed it. He settled quietly at my side the entire time and he received numerous accolades from our server and many of the restaurant patrons as we departed. I am so proud of him and immensely satisfied with my experience as a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes. The most rewarding part for me is knowing he will be a loving companion and of great assistance to one in need. We shall miss him but wish his new Kobe team all the best. ~Rona Spear & Family 

Photos of the Team…