Graduate Team Matthew and Bing
Meet December Home Training Graduate Matthew
Matthew was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, located just north of New York City. He eventually relocated to Burton, Michigan, which is a suburb of Flint. Matthew has been married to his wife, Dawn, for eleven years. He is self-employed and provides personalized training on iPhones, Macs, and various other electronic communication devices. In his free time Matthew enjoys reading, writing, exercising, and listening to all genres of music, from rock & roll and blues to country. Matthew was a former recording secretary and president of the Guiding Eyes Graduate Council.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Bing is very outgoing. He is loyal, demonstrative of his feelings and very affectionate to me. He is like a furry soldier, attentive and loving towards us, our cats, and our home. I would like to also mention how beautiful Bing is. He is a rather large black and tan German Shepherd; my first Shepherd guide dog.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I grew up in Yonkers, approximately thirty minutes from the Guiding Eyes school, so I had heard about their mission early on. Bing is my fourth guide dog from Guiding Eyes. My three previous training experiences were on Guiding Eyes’ Yorktown campus. Each experience had been excellent.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “My last guide dog had to be retired nine months ago. Up until the time of my training with Bing, I had to take a step back and rely on a cane to get around. It was much more challenging to navigate my neighborhood and local community. I concluded my training with Bing right before Christmas. When weather permits and it is not snowing and icy outside, I can once again get around much easier and safer. As my vision can best be described as looking through a very foggy window, I wholeheartedly appreciate the support and freedom these guide dogs offer.”
Were there any training highlights? “Well, my three previous training experiences on campus were excellent. However, due to the pandemic my training with Bing was provided at home, in and around Burton. Thus, the training was tailored to my personal needs and places I would normally frequent. My trainer, James Gardner, was very knowledgeable and always communicated to me in a clear and constructive way. This was especially apparent when things deviated from the expected. I could also tell that James loves the guide dogs he works with.”
Meet Guide Dog Bing
- DOB: 11/9/2019
- Tattoo ID: 1B419
- Color/Breed: Black & Tan German Shepherd
- Gender: Male
- Brood: Comet
- Stud: Rowan
- Littermates: Babs, Bradley Bacall
- Region: Southern CT
- Regional Manager: Maureen Hollis
- Puppy Raiser: Melissa J. Woodhouse
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Southern CT Puppy Raisers
I enjoyed from day one raising this sweet floofy little bear! Bing’s was a really fun pup to watch him grow! He loved our nightly routine of snuggling and being brushed. He loves getting bear hugs, and lots of kisses on his head! He will even ask for them, comes over and stand next to you and just wait! Bing was a challenge to get him to load up on things, he was a bit unsure of his size. So that meant we needed to go have a lot of fun finding things to practice on! Lots of hikes, fun places in town. Now I watch him launch across gaps between rocks with no problems. He is such a good boy, I hope the two of you have lots of fun adventures together!
Melissa Woodhouse, puppy raiser of Bing
Enjoy these photos of the team and Bing as a pup on program…
Meet our other recent guide dog team graduates. Click here!
Friends and Family: Watch this video to learn more about Working with a Guide Dog Team.