“Congratulations to the June graduating class and guide teams. Healthy Vision Association is proud to support Guiding Eyes and all the great work you do.”
Healthy Vision Association Charity Fund
“We celebrate all of the graduates this day. We appreciate all of your perseverance to arrive at this point in your journey with Guiding Eyes. We dedicate our shared sponsorship of this particular graduation to the memory of Kate Fanti. She was an enthusiastic Guiding Eyes volunteer who brought the understanding of the important mission of Guiding Eyes to WCDNF. She brought Omar to a club meeting. We miss her and we believe that her giving, friendly manner helped with the preparation of the Guiding Eyes puppies. She often shared photos and anecdotes about her very special puppies at club meetings.”
Women’s Club Danbury/New Fairfield
Nesma comes to Guiding Eyes for her first guide dog. She is a full-time student at George Mason University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Assisted Technologies. She is also a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. In addition to her studies, Nesma is involved in two internships. She is an administrative intern at the National Institute of Health and a web and document accessibility tester on campus. Nesma is looking forward to all the positive things Radar will bring to her busy life, as they continue their journey together.
How would you describe your guide dog? “Radar is very calm, gentle and loving. In addition to being visually impaired, I also struggle with depression, and can already tell that Radar will benefit me in many ways. The responsibility of having Radar to care for will keep me focused outwardly on someone else. His cuddles and companionship will help and encourage me to be more engaged and less shy around others.”
What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Radar is not only my first guide dog, but my very first dog. I was aware of what guide dogs can do for you, so I thought, ‘why not?’ I contacted another guide dog school, but ultimately, I was impressed by how caring everyone at Guiding Eyes for the Blind is, so I applied. I also appreciate the support and stipend Guiding Eyes provides for Radar’s veterinary care.”
How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I already know I will be able to look up more when I walk! I am very accustomed to looking down, focusing on safely navigating my surroundings. As Radar guides me, I am able to trust him to safely navigate for me, allowing me to fully participate with those around me.”
Were there any training highlights? “At first, starting training felt a bit stressful, but I quickly became more comfortable as Radar and I got more confident in our skills and abilities. Susan, our instructor was wonderful! She is very patient and easy to talk to!”
Radar came in July 2017, at 7 weeks old. Our adopted lab, Echo, became his constant companion and teacher. Although I had training times with just Radar, Echo (who had been raised for GEB) was a great example and Radar learned commands very quickly. They romped in our back yard, played well in the house and then often snuggled together. Radar was well behaved when receiving shots, remained healthy, enjoying the attention of all the family, even my young grandchildren. He was always confident on country roads, busy town streets, hiking, swimming, visiting a library and being presented to classes of sixth graders, as well in the puppy training classes. He was a true delight for all of us!
Linda A. Cross, Puppy Raiser of Radar