Close this search box.
Close this search box.

“Perfect 10”!

colorful and imaginative illustration of NYC on cover of The New York Times for KidsMay 27, 2024 Update: Ten’s journey to guide dog is in the New York Times for Kids!

“The Newest (And Cutest!) Graduate: A Guide Dog.” (May 26th print edition)

Thomas Panek sit with arm around guide dog Ten who wears a white harness with red 10 to mimic an NFL Giants jersey
Thomas Panek and yellow Lab guide dog Ten’s, team portrait.

It is not uncommon to see Thomas Panek, the President and CEO of Guiding Eyes, attend a Friday afternoon graduation ceremony. He often joins in the celebration with the newest class of students, whom he’s gotten to know during their time on campus. They know that as a handler himself, he personally understands the thrill they feel at partnering with a new guide dog.

However, the graduation ceremony on April 12, 2024, was a particularly poignant moment for Thomas. This time, he sat at the front of the room as part of the class, sharing their joy and pride as he graduated with his new guide dog, his “Perfect Ten”.

Placement Manager Stephanie amused the audience, saying, “Thomas and Ten are well matched, as they appear to be all business when working but behind closed doors their off-duty antics are abundant.” This class had a unique experience that went beyond having the CEO as a classmate and included both an earthquake and a solar eclipse! 

In January of this year, Thomas’s match with Ten, a Running Guide in training, was an event in and of itself! At a football-themed event in NYC, Ten was handed off to Thomas as the “#1 Draft Pick” by Board Member and two-timeSuper Bowl MVP, Eli Manning. Ten was named in honor of his retired jersey number, 10. Ten’s custom harness brings to mind a NY Giants jersey.

Ten is a yellow Lab from the T22 litter of Felicia and Dover. He was raised by Darlene Jacobs in the Eastern Mass Puppy Raising region, who saw his potential to be a great guide dog from the start.

To enjoy a video recording of the graduation, click this link and join in the celebration of Thomas and Ten, Sofia and Kay, Douglas and Ned, Catherine and Jada, Annee and Max plus Home Training teams, Dawn and Jessie and Karen and Gadget!

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you for helping bring this gift into my life.
I’m looking forward  to many miles with my perfect Ten.

Thomas Panek, Graduate and President & CEO

What a sweet boy I was lucky enough to raise! Ten was a true delight right from the start. From day one, I was so impressed by how quickly he learned. Each time we came home from classes or outings, I told my family the same thing -he’s ridiculously good! We are so proud of Ten, and know he has a wonderful future ahead of him. We wish Ten and Thomas only the best!

Darlene Jacobs, Ten’s Puppy Raiser