Graduate Team Moaz and Edwin
Meet March Home Training Graduate Moaz
Moaz works as a supervisor for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). He is a graduate of the University of Texas Austin where he studied Applied Learning and Development. He also holds a Master of Public Administration and is currently working toward a Certificate of Non-Profit Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Moaz is serving as president of Vision Without Barriers, a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower those with impairments, for independent living and equal opportunity. Edwin, who he has affectionately nicknamed Eddie, is his first guide dog. Moaz enjoys being physically active. His interests include running, hiking, and swimming, and he has earned a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Edwin is very relaxed and ‘chill’. He is learning his way around the gym and relaxes on his bed in my office during long meetings and briefings. I live across the street from a dog park and Eddie manages the distractions well and respects boundaries. He is very attached to me, and we are well matched. He is a very handsome dog and loves to be brushed and he also enjoys a good game of tug!”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I thoroughly researched guide dog schools, just as I would profile people or organizations that I plan to work with. I appreciated the openness of Guiding Eyes and their mission to always do better. All my interactions with Guiding Eyes staff were phenomenal. I am naturally a very active and social person and want to remain that way. Eddie is a running guide, and I am a runner! I also appreciate the support Guiding Eyes offers beyond just training.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I live in a community with lots of housing and shops. Since completely losing my sight in 2019, I have only regularly gone to two shops. Since getting Eddie, I have been enjoying the ability to explore more. I am much more confident around traffic, and I don’t have to worry about bumping into people. I recently went on a hike with three friends and their guide dogs. Eddie did great traversing bridges on the trail. At one point he carefully led me right to the edge of some water. I think he wanted to swim! I’m hoping he and I can learn to kayak together.”
Were there any training highlights? “All of training was a highlight! Mike was a great instructor. The Home Training was very flexible and gave me the chance to learn from my mistakes. After college I worked as a Kindergarten teacher. Working with Eddie is like working with a young child; if I keep him engaged, he will learn. During a trip to a local coffee shop, Eddie went right to the counter as I commanded. It didn’t occur to him to wait in the queue. Fortunately, the other customers found it funny, and I discovered something else to practice. I can’t imagine not having him!”
Meet Guide Dog Edwin
- DOB: 4/12/2019
- Tattoo ID: 5EE19
- Color/Breed: black Labrador Retriever
- Gender: Male
- Brood: Minka
- Stud: Zinc
- Region: Baltimore
- Regional Manager: Jeanyne Gembarski
- Puppy Raiser: Mark Corser and Emilyn Banfield; Sarah Simon and Adam Bergeron
- Facebook: Guiding Eyes Baltimore Puppy Raisers
We welcomed Edwin for the latter part of his puppy raising and particularly enjoyed his goofy antics, love of snuggles, and willingness to please. Edwin’s favorite pastimes included playing with toys, outdoor playdates with his half-brother, Odie, sunbathing on the patio, and sometimes “helping” his humans garden. In warm weather he enjoyed anything involving water, like swimming, playing in a sprinkler or leaping to fetch his toys in a lake. He was also very fond of ice cube treats, snow, fans, and loved discovering any source of air conditioning in the summer! Edwin was always ready to be in the mix, and game for anything! We can’t wait for the adventures he will go on with his graduate!
Sarah Simon, Puppy Raiser of Edwin
Raising Edwin in the heart of Baltimore City meant he rode the train, bus, and subway at an early age. He would enthusiastically try new things…if it meant getting treats! He most enjoys any outing involving water or a car ride. Edwin is always eager to please and has an intuitive sense of the energy required when meeting people of various ages and abilities. He went to work with Mark every morning and quickly became a valued employee of the State of Maryland, boosting morale and winning hearts. Our favorite things about raising Edwin were his absolute insistence on making time to cuddle and his endearing, goofy personality. We are thankful to have been part of training journey and know he will shine as a guide!
Mark Corser and Emilyn Banfield, Puppy Raiser of Edwin
Enjoy these photos of the team and Edwin 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.