Patricia and Eva

Meet Graduate Patricia

Patricia and black guide dog Eva sit head to head for team portraitGraduate Team:  Patricia and Eva
About the Team:  Eva, a female black Lab, is Patricia’s 1st guide dog
Location:  West Palm Beach, Florida
Training: March 2023 Home Training

Patty is originally from New York but has lived in Florida for many years. She describes herself as a perpetual learner and has enjoyed a variety of careers. Patty has worked as an elementary school teacher, as well as an advertising executive for the National Law Journal, where she gained a great deal of knowledge about the law. Patty has contributed support to the blind community as a member and past president of the Palm Beach chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida.  She enjoys singing both jazz and gospel music and has shared those talents by performing at church.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Eva is the smartest and most hilarious dog I have ever known! She is well mannered, even tempered and so well trained.  Eva rides well on buses, and thanks to her puppy raiser, she knows how to navigate Trader Joe’s.  She enjoys riding in the elevator and looks for her reward when the doors open.  I like to say she ‘will work for food’ and can learn anything when rewarded with a treat.  She likes to play with her toys including a favorite monkey, which was a gift from my daughter.  She will hide her toys under the coffee table next to her bed.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “While attending a conference for the National Federation of the Blind, I met a representative from Guiding Eyes and became familiar with the organization and the amazing guide dogs they provide.  As I began to experience a loss of mobility and confidence, I thought it might be time for a guide dog.  Guiding Eyes is the only guide dog organization that evaluates applicants based on the individual and does not automatically disqualify them based on advanced age. I’m proud to have received my first guide dog at the age of 83!”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “In the short time I have had Eva, I have met so many more of my neighbors. She is the best-looking dog around and everyone wants to meet her! If you meet Eva, you fall in love with Eva.  She is such a well-mannered dog, that being out with her in public is a lot of fun, especially for a senior citizen like me. We were at the eye doctor today and she was captivating people yet again.  Eva has expanded my horizons and added some joy and confidence to my life. That somehow seems to take me back to younger days. I’m getting braver and bolder every day. I am looking forward to an upcoming trip to New York to visit family. Thanks to Eva and thank God for Guiding Eyes.”

Were there any training highlights? “I trained at home and immediately introduced Eva to my routes and surroundings. I was a little nervous at first but quickly learned to trust Eva and she learned to listen to me.  I was impressed at her ability to get between me and an obstacle to keep me safe.  She learned where ‘home’ is and capably leads me there.  Eva and I went to lunch with our trainer, Melinda, and the experience was magnificent! We were able to dine undisturbed by this dog who politely positioned herself under the table and behaved most wonderfully. Eva and I enjoyed a trip to Panera for lunch since. Another great experience. It is clear Guiding Eyes dogs are well bred and well trained. I am so grateful for Eva and the outstanding level of support Guiding Eyes offers.”

Meet Guide Dog Eva

DOB:  4/21/2020
Litter ID: 5EE20
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Nell
Stud: Wallace
Littermates: Elvis, Eileen, Elton, Ernie, Emerson, Ellen
Region:  Eastern MA, Maine
Regional Puppy Instructor: Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser:  The Gall Family, Christina Strubbe
Facebook: Eastern Mass Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Maine Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Eva was not only my first GEB puppy, but my first puppy ever! Because of Eva, I fell in love with puppy raising. I am now raising my third puppy, but Eva will always hold an extra special place in my heart. ~ Cheryl Gall, Puppy Raiser

Eva came to me at seven months, an exuberant, sassy girl who needed some help learning to slow down and take in the world. I loved watching her gain confidence as she grew and her world gradually expanded. Eva became a dog up for anything: trail walks, swimming, playtime with her friends, boat rides, restaurants, coffee shops, the farmers market, and stores of all kinds. We took agility classes, and she thought tunnels were the most fun! In the summer she loved to pick her own raspberries in the back yard and lay down in her kiddie pool to cool off. She became the calmest, sweetest, most patient pup who gave the best cuddles. I am so proud of Eva and hope she enjoys her work as a guide!  ~ Christina Strubbbe, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…