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Paulina and Ophelia

Meet Graduate Paulina

Paulina and black Lab guide dog Ophelia sit close for their team portraitGraduate Team:  Paulina and Ophelia
About the Team:  Ophelia, a female, black Labrador Retriever is Paulina’s 1st guide dog
Location:  Moreno Valley, California
Training: May 2024 On-Campus

Paulina is a lifelong resident of California and a full-time student at California State University, Los Angeles. She is majoring in communications and aspires to attend law school, with the goal of becoming an immigration lawyer. Paulina enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly in the summer, going for walks and visiting the beach. She also has a passion for travel and has explored various parts of North America, including Canada and Mexico.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Ophelia is the most affectionate, happy, loyal, and sweet dog I could ever imagine!  She is playful and loving and makes every day better.  When she is not working, she is very relaxed.  When working in harness, Ophelia is focused and checks in with me. As soon as I got Ophelia, I knew I had made the right decision.” 

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I was looking for a school that offered a fully immersive training program. I loved the idea and challenge of traveling to the East Coast for the first time and learning to handle my guide dog in an unfamiliar and exciting place like New York.  I found the stories about the guide dog teams on the Guiding Eyes website to be both inspiring and encouraging! I know several people with guide dogs from Guiding Eyes, and they all highly recommended the dogs and the organization.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Ophelia and I have connected well and really found our groove.  She has given me a boost of confidence.  Working with Ophelia is very freeing and smooth.  I feel like I am gliding through life.”

Were there any training highlights? “The training experience was amazing and life-changing!  Both the night walk and street crossings quickly showed me how different and seamless it is to walk with Ophelia versus a cane.  As we walked and navigated challenging routes together, I learned just how capable she is as a guide. Whether it was construction obstacles or a crowded subway station, Ophelia demonstrated her skills, and I learned I can trust her. I am very grateful to the whole Guiding Eyes team and their continued support throughout this journey.”

Meet Guide Dog Ophelia

DOB:  3/12/2022
Litter ID: 1O22
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Piper
Stud: Elrod
Littermates: Oak, Orion, Opus, Orlando, O’Hara
Region:  Southwestern VT
Regional Puppy Instructor: Kate Gardner
Puppy Raiser:   Melissa Scheffler & Edward Smith

From the Puppy Raiser…

Ophelia, our sweet curious girl. Congratulations, we are so proud of you! Enjoy your new forever home and the work you were born to do. Love Mom and Dad!! ~ Melissa Scheffler & Edward Smith

Photos of the Team…