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Renard and Krissy

Meet Graduate Renard

Renard sits next to black Lab guide Krissy for their graduate team photo

Graduate Team: Renard and Krissy
About the team: Krissy, a female black Lab, is Renard’s 1st guide dog
Hometown: Weston, Connecticut
Training: October 2023 On-Campus

Renard and his guide dog Krissy call Weston, CT home, but they can often be found navigating the streets of New York City. Renard is the Managing Director & Global Chief Privacy Officer at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. When he’s not busy at work, Renard enjoys a variety of activities like spending time with friends and work colleagues in New York City or attending his two sons’ fencing tournaments with his wife. Renard is looking forward to Krissy accompanying them on an Alaskan cruise next summer. In his free time, Renard also likes to keep up with the latest podcasts and is a fan of Tennessee Titans football. In addition to Krissy, Renard and his family have two other dogs: a 7 lb. Yorkie named Ashley and an 85 lb Catahoula Dog, Ike.

How would you describe your guide dog? “I would describe her as a very quick learner of patterns. She has a very expressive face and an ever-wagging tail. She’s very sociable when off duty. She likes to play with toys and is a super-chewer. My wife got her one of these bones that is said to last for a long time, and she was done with it in an afternoon. She loves any body of water better than anything. The first time we let her off leash in the backyard she jumped in the pool three times. When the pool was closed, she found a wheelbarrow of water to jump in. She loves water! She has formed a very strong relationship with our dog, Ike. When I’m working from home, she’ll be in the office with me, and Ike will sit outside the door while they whine to see each other. She’s integrated into the family very well.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “What made me apply for a guide dog was more independence and confidence in navigating around, particularly in different places. One of the things Krissy has done really well is pick up the route between Grand Central and the office. She has completely picked up the pattern. Guiding Eyes understood the challenges of navigating Manhattan, and what I mean by that is, the dog would get plenty of work and challenge walking through Grand Central and navigating 42nd Street and Park Avenue. They understood that you can work in an urban environment and live in an entirely different one.” 

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “My wife says that I walk with much more confidence when I’m walking with Krissy in new and different places. We took her to a fencing tournament just to see how she’d do, and she did great. It’s a place with a lot of noise, a lot of kids running around, and bags all around as long as golfing bags. It’s a lot to navigate. She did fantastic! It gives me a lot of confidence being in those surroundings and not having to always rely on a cane and my wife.”

Were there any training highlights?  “In general, our instructors, Kat and Dan, were memorable. It was a great experience, and I had a great time with them. We figured out that there’s work Krissy and an off-work Krissy. Work Krissy is really focused, and she is fantastic. She is rock solid in the supermarket, the streets of Manhattan, Grand Central, or in a business meeting. Off work Krissy jumps in pools, tries to eat the other dogs’ food, and jumps in wheelbarrows. Off work Krissy lets her hair down in a very noticeable way. She’s a great dog.”

Meet Guide Dog Krissy

DOB:  7/27/2021
Litter ID: 4KK21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Brood: Crumpet
Stud: Dasher
Littermates: Kai, Kava, Kennedy, Kelley, Kate, Keats, Kona, Kobe
Region:  Montgomery
Regional Puppy Instructor: Jeanyne Gembarski
Puppy Raiser:  Lou & Margie Coccodrilli
Facebook: Montgomery Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Krissy arrived in September 2021. It must have been meant to be when we said “yes” to raising another GEB dog … she was born July 27, our wedding anniversary, and she will be a guide dog graduate on October 27. She enjoyed morning walks after breakfast, ready to go even if we hadn’t had our first cup of coffee. She quickly learned to wait patiently without a demand bark, just a whimper. Fall morning walks became a kaleidoscope of leaf colors. Each morning Lou would direct her to a spot for a picture and it wasn’t long before she directed Lou to a spot for her photo shoot and a treat. Full of energy, Krissy was active and engaged. She was enrolled in agility activities, weekly swimming at K-9 Aquatics, and enjoyed play dates with her best local GEB buddies. She managed to tire us out! We are so, so proud of Krissy. She’ll be a wonderful guide and loving companion to her new family. ~ Margie and Lou Coccodrilli, Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…