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Michelle and Farrow

Meet March Residential Graduate Michelle

Graduate Michelle and guide dog Farrow sit on a bench in the warmth of the spring sunshineGraduate Team: Michelle & Farrow
About the Team: Farrow, a female black Labrador, is Michelle’s 2nd Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown: Massena, New York
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Kathryn Poallo

Michelle, originally from Potsdam, NY, spent 36 years living in the southern states before returning to the Northeast and settling in Massena. She enjoys spending her time volunteering for a local church where she and her fellow volunteers prepare meals twice a week for those in need. The local library will be re-opening soon and Michelle and Farrow are very much looking forward to a visit. Michelle has really enjoyed working with Farrow, and as more public places open up after Covid, she is eager for their future adventures.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She’s so funny. Farrow has a young soul. We have this really big ball, the size of a bowling ball, that she just loves. She really loves to get outside and play on the long 50-foot lead, because she runs around and around in a circle like a pony. We live in an apartment complex and she’s like a local celebrity; everyone comes out to watch her play.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “When I lost my vision, I had to learn to do things a bit differently and attended a school for the blind. That’s when I learned about guide dogs; I was interested and able to learn from others at the school who had dogs. I worked hard on my O&M and from there started the guide dog process. When I was looking into guide dog schools, Guiding Eyes was very easy to talk to and work with. Now I’m back for my second guide.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “When you first get a guide dog, it can be a bit of an adjustment, but as you get into a routine and you really start knowing each other, things start to come together. This time when I was training with Farrow, I had some experience under my belt, and we just slid right into our partnership, like she had been there the whole time.”

Were there any training highlights? “I really enjoyed getting to know all of her quirks, like the silly way she sleeps on her back, with her nose pointed towards her tail. But also, learning the best way for us to communicate was really awesome. She looks at me and moves her head as if asking a question, so I talk to her and we understand each other. It’s the best when she looks at you and you both acknowledge the achievement you’ve reached together. We’ve been working hard and working together, and we’ve succeeded.”

Meet Guide Dog Farrow

Farrow is a sweet and smart pup! She was always up for a challenge. She enjoyed learning new things and meeting new people and dogs. We miss her!  Her flexibility with meeting new people and dogs was one of her strengths. Farrow was a local “celebrity” here in Rochester. We appeared on local TV and radio spots, and she took it all in stride. Everyone who met her fell in love with her! Shopping was always fun. She is such a ham and loved getting her picture taken with people! I loved that she was so cuddly! We called her an “enthusiastic cuddler”!  She was definitely a smart and independent girl, but loved her cuddle time, too! I hope you enjoy this wonderful girl as much as we did!

Karie Livingston, Puppy Raiser of Farrow

Enjoy these photos of the team and Farrow 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.