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Nic and Winsome

Meet Graduate Nic

Sofia sits with black lab guide dog Winsome for their team photo

Graduate Team: Nic & Winsome  
About the Team: Winsome, a female black lab, is Nic’s 1st Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Ledyard, Connecticut
Training: June 2023 On-Campus

Nic is a rising junior at Goucher College in Towson, MD, triple majoring in Peace Studies, Sociology, and French with aspirations to work in Human Rights. Nic likes to write, dance, and read during down time. When not at college, Nic and Winsome can be found at home in Ledyard, CT with Nic’s mother, father, two brothers, and family dog Stella, who has become very good friends with Winsome.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She is my favorite! She’s loveable and very loving. She likes to cuddle and sleep in my bed, usually in the middle or end, but she sleeps wherever she wants; I just find a spot around her. Sometimes she’ll sleep in a ball but she’s definitely a stretcher. She loves toys of all kinds. Sometimes she just likes to carry the toys around in her mouth.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I’ve been thinking about it for a while and then I finally felt comfortable in where I was at college to apply. I was a second semester freshman when I filled out the application. From all the schools I looked at, Guiding Eyes seemed like it was in a good area and it’s also close by. I had only heard good things about it and it seemed great.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “It has made me feel much more independent. I’ve never had a dog that was just mine and not a family dog, so she definitely gets me up and out a lot more. Right now, our only route is on our street, so I’m looking forward to having a set route that we’ll do consistently when we get back to college.”

Were there any training highlights? “The people that worked at Guiding Eyes and those who were getting their guide dogs were all just amazing people. The experience as a whole was awesome.”

Meet Guide Dog Winsome

DOB:  6/10/2021
Litter ID: 5W21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Nadine
Stud: Odin
Littermates: Wilbur, Webster, Winslet, Wrangler, Whimsey, Waffle, Windy, Wella
Region:  Columbus
Regional Puppy Instructor: Leslie Stephens
Puppy Raiser:  Dan Wurm, Bailey Porter
Facebook: Columbus OSU Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raisers…

Since Winsome was my first GEB puppy, I really didn’t know what to expect. Even as a baby, Winsome was a fun pup to work with. She had the “it” factor…so smart. Her eye contact, concentration, and focus made my job easy. My outings with Winsome were mostly me trying to push her limits…and she never disappointed! The goal was a well-rounded pup, both comfortable in any situation, and happy to relax after a long day. My biggest realization is that I would trust Winsome with my life. I’ve never felt that way about a dog. She’s that good! Enjoy Winsome…she’s a special lady!  ~Dan Wurm

Winsome is truly a one of a kind pup who I will never forget. I became her raiser a bit late in her program journey after she began attending classes with me at Ohio State. Starting off my days bright and early with Winsome was by far the highlight of my year (her warming my feet after a chilly walk to class was also a bonus). I don’t think there is a single challenge this lady couldn’t overcome, she met every obstacle with a tail wag and confidence. Winsome taught me so much during our time together and stole my heart in the process. I couldn’t be more proud of the dog Winsome has become and I look forward to hearing about her adventures as a guide. To her new partner, I wish you two nothing but the best. Enjoy endless snuggles, kisses, and of course her signature sploots. ~Bailey Porter

Photos of the Team…