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Marianne and Enya

Meet Graduate Marianne

Marianne sits next to black lab guide dog Enya for team portraitGraduate Team: Marianne and Enya
About the Team: Enya, a female black Lab, is Marianne’s 4th guide dog
Location: Clearfield, Utah
Training: March 2023 On-Campus

Marianne’s occupation is focused on helping people with disabilities. She is a case worker for The Health and Human Services department for the state of Utah. Marianne enjoys her local walking trail, listening to music, reading mysteries by James Patterson and Kristin Hannah, going to coffee shops, and occasionally crocheting or knitting. She loves traveling and would like to take the “All Paws on Board” cruise next year and meet other guide dog teams. She enjoys going to concerts of diverse genres, whether it be Reba McEntyre or Nickelback. Marianne comes from a large family of five siblings and family is spread out around Salt Lake City. She bought a house last year, where she lives with her son and his wife, three cats, a dog, a rabbit, and fish, in addition to Enya.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Enya’s the first female guide of my four, and she’s the best worker. If someone tries to talk to her when she knows she’s supposed to be paying attention, she’ll look up to me. She’s serious about working and she’s quick. We move fast, and I love that. Enya’s a fun dog who likes to play and she thinks she’s a lap dog. Her puppy raiser raised Enya as a part of his Eagle Scout project. Her puppy raiser and family told me that her nickname was ‘Party for One’ because she’ll roll around and entertain herself. I told Guiding Eyes I wanted a guide who would socialize and play with me and be more emotional, and I got that with Enya.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “My retina detached in 2007, and I lost my good eye. I looked at getting a guide dog because, at that time, I was a single mom with a five-year-old. I initially went with Guiding Eyes because they were the only ones that did a home training where one of the instructors would come out for 15 days and work with me in my own community. I could still be a mom and keep my job, and they really adapted the program to me. I had such great instructors and so much love and support. I think Guiding Eyes has the best dogs. It seems like Guiding Eyes is a family and they really care.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I retired my last guide dog 17 months before I got Enya, and I had to wait longer because of the pandemic. I found myself isolating more and feeling lonely and depressed. I’m independent and found myself losing that a bit. I think not having a dog for those 17 months showed me what having a dog means for me. With my other dogs, I didn’t have to wait long, but going this long affected my life and my psyche. Because I didn’t feel independent, I wasn’t going out and catching the bus like I always did. Having Enya gives me freedom to travel better, be more confident, and she gives me emotional support.”

Were there any training highlights? “I had the best instructor, Dan, and he was so good at being positive. You felt like the only person in the world training with him. He was so good at helping me correct things before they even happened. I had a great experience with everyone at the school. I’ve had three dogs from Guiding Eyes through Home Training, and this is my first time bringing a dog home. They brought Enya to me, and I think we bonded within a couple of hours of being matched. Words cannot describe how beautiful and powerful our relationship has grown just after a few short months of being together.

Meet Guide Dog Enya

DOB:  3/27/2021
Litter ID: 4E21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Quail
Stud: Elrod
Littermates: Effie, Eve, Eden, Epcot, Edison
Region:  NoVA – North
Regional Puppy Instructor: Janet Bartolotta
Puppy Raiser:  Ryan Klein
Facebook: NoVA North Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

In general, Labs have a happy disposition. Enya took that stereotype to a higher level. I will always remember her as my ‘Party for 1 Girl’. She instinctively understood how to have a good time, no matter what the scenario. I knew that if I heard a thump, I would find her on her back twisting and turning, with or without a toy in her mouth, simply happy to be alive. I cannot think of Enya without remembering her joyful personality. She reminded me on a daily basis that it is always possible to find joy, even in the mundane. I suspected early on that Enya had a good chance of becoming a guide dog. She had more endurance than I did, displaying infinite patience on shopping trips with my teenage daughter and during my long work meetings. Enya was extremely easy to travel with, and she was an admirable assistant during presentations to local schoolchildren and groups, winning everyone over with her calm, joyful, and loving nature. I trust that Enya will be as instrumental to her graduate’s life as she was to ours while raising her. We will always carry Enya in our hearts! ~ Nancy & Ryan Klein, Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…