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Michael and Emerson

Meet Graduate Michael

Michael and black Lab guide dog Emerson sit together for team portrait against gray backgroundGraduate Team:  Michael and Emerson
About the Team:  Emerson, a male black Lab, is Michael’s 3rd guide dog
Location: Manorville, New York 
Training: November 2023 On-Campus

Michael returns to Guiding Eyes for his third guide dog, Emerson, after the retirement of his previous guide, Payson. Mike lives on Long Island and is a graduate of Suffolk Community College. Having grown up on Long Island with time spent near the lakes of NY’s Adirondack mountains, it is not surprising that Michael loves the water.  He is a fan of swimming, sailing, and hiking as well. He looks forward to the warmer seasons of the coming year when he can share those experience with Emerson. Mike has a musical side as well, and although he has a significant hearing impairment, he enjoys exploring that pursuit, taking piano lessons, and learning braille music. Besides the increased independence and ease of travel, Emerson provides company and the enjoyment of having a dog.

How would you describe your guide dog? “He’s very well trained.  He’s focused when working but loves to play off harness. He does a very good job of walking me to places I go like the bank.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “The reason I chose Guiding Eyes is because not only am I totally blind, but I am also severely hearing impaired. Guiding Eyes has the Specialized Training program for those with additional challenges.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Guide dogs provide me with company, and a lot of independent mobility. Emerson helps me walk around the neighborhood for exercise and helps me navigate the route to my piano lesson and places like the bank.  My guide dogs even help me hike in the Adirondacks in summer. I love to swim, and I think that Emerson may be a real water dog, so this summer I’ll see if he enjoys swimming with me in the lake at camp.”

Were there any training highlights? “I thought my training at Guiding Eyes was very good.  All the staff were very nice and made me feel comfortable about being away from home.”

Meet Guide Dog Emerson

DOB:  4/21/2020
Litter ID: 6EE20
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Nell  
Stud: Wallace
Littermates: Eva, Elvis, Eileen, Elton, Ernie, Ellen
Region:  Eastern CT
Regional Puppy Instructor: Maureen Hollis
Puppy Raiser:  The Dunning Family
Facebook: Eastern CT Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…