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Ronald and Keaton

Thank you to our generous June Graduate Sponsors…

“Congratulations to the June graduating class and guide teams.  Healthy Vision Association is  proud to support Guiding Eyes and all the great work you do.”

Healthy Vision Association Charity Fund

“We celebrate all of the graduates this day. We appreciate all of your perseverance to arrive at this point in your journey with Guiding Eyes. We dedicate our shared sponsorship of this particular graduation to the memory of Kate Fanti. She was an enthusiastic Guiding Eyes volunteer who brought the understanding of the important mission of Guiding Eyes to WCDNF. She brought Omar to a club meeting. We miss her and we believe that her giving, friendly manner helped with the preparation of the Guiding Eyes puppies.  She often shared photos and anecdotes about her very special puppies at club meetings.” 

Women’s Club Danbury/New Fairfield

Meet June Residential Training Graduate Ronald

Graduate Ronald with guide Keaton who sits tall at his feetGraduate Team:  Ronald and Keaton
About the Team: Keaton, a male yellow Lab, is Ron’s 5th Guiding Eyes dog
Hometown:  Charlotte, North Carolina
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: Michael Racioppo

Ron lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Becky, who he met at Guiding Eyes, and their guide dogs Keaton and Ballad. A wood carver for over 20 years, Ron is a member of the Charlotte Woodcarvers Club and enjoys carving in his free time. While Ron works, Keaton can often be found lying on a dog bed nearby. Ron also enjoys cooking, barbecuing, and using his smoker.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Keaton is a gentle giant. He’s very gentle and easy going. He has good house manners and is a very dedicated worker. He really loves to work. At home he enjoys playing tug with Ballad and they cuddle sometimes, too. He’s easy going and we bonded quickly.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “The decision to come to Guiding Eyes for my first guide was the reputation of the school. Coming back was a no-brainer. I got all my dogs from Guiding Eyes, and I even met my wife there! The experience was good each time.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Guide dogs open many windows, doors, and opportunities for handlers. During the times I couldn’t work with my previous guide dog, Clarissa, because of her arthritis, life was a lot harder. My guide dog is really an extension of me and there is nothing else like it.”

Were there any training highlights? “After coming back to Guiding Eyes 7 years later, I liked that the training and experience felt familiar. I really enjoyed working with instructors Mike and Jolene. It decided to pour during our night training, but it didn’t bother Keaton though.”

Meet Guide Dog Keaton

Keaton is a big boy that loved agility and his nap after. He was game for whatever was offered. His gentleness was never diminished by his size and he welcomed having visitors with two or four legs.

Eileen and Terry Matro, Puppy Raisers of Keaton

Enjoy these photos of the team and Keaton as a pup on program…