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Samaneh and Lemon

Meet Graduate Samaneh

Graduate Team: Samaneh and LemonSamaneh and yellow guide dog Lemon, sit for their graduate portrait
About the Team:
Lemon, a female yellow Lab, is Sam’s 3rd guide dog & 1st from Guiding Eyes
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Training: December 2022 On-Campus Training

Samaneh works part-time as a referral specialist at MOSAIC, an organization that helps immigrants and refugees start a new life in Canada.  She provides information about programs, services, and social activities to newcomers with disabilities. She also helps with organizing events that raise awareness about disability rights. Sam is always willing to offer advice and support for anyone who has questions about immigration, disabilities, accessibility, or blindness. Having expert knowledge in those subjects, she likes to help wherever she can. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking, and playing music; she plays the violin and piano. She also loves to travel, visiting friends who live across the country or taking trips to Turkey to visit family, as she’s unable to travel to her home country of Iran. England remains one of her favorite places to travel to.

How would you describe your guide dog? “She’s a great dog and her pace is good for me. She’s fast, so sometimes I have to remind her not to go too fast. She listens well and she’s smart and sharp too. She knows how to find a door and a curb, and she helps to find our way back home.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Because it’s the greatest school and I heard nice comments about Guiding Eyes. I looked at other schools, but thought that this was the right place for my next guide dog because there are such positive things about Guiding Eyes. The matching of guide dogs is my favorite part, I think. I’m quite satisfied and the puppy raisers are like the glue in the process, and that’s why it’s so great.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life?  “Before Lemon, I was sometimes at home for a week or so. I didn’t know whether it was dark or cold outside, and now I’m much more independent. I go to new places, I walk around, and it’s so cool. It’s not just having a piece of metal in your hand, but you have a companion in your life. It’s 100 percent a good choice for me to have a guide dog like Lemon. I made the best-ever decision in my life. It’s a totally different experience from before and I’m healthier because of her. We wake up early and go for a walk, which is great for my mental and physical health. I also get to go to different places easily.”

Were there any training highlights?  “I got my trust back. I wasn’t sure if I should get a guide dog again because my experience wasn’t always the best in the past. Lemon and this experience showed me that I should trust again, because she’s here to help me and I can rely on her. I will do my best to direct Lemon and do my job well, but it’s teamwork. It was a very smooth experience, and I didn’t expect that. Michelle helped me during the training; she and I were so connected, and she understood me. The improvement I saw with her was fantastic and the methods she used were so practical; I enjoyed it.”

Meet Guide Dog Lemon

DOB:  5/17/2020
Litter ID: 5LL20
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Lava
Stud: Ryan
Littermates: Lester, Larson, Lowell, Lyric
Region:  Northern Virginia – North
Regional Puppy Instructor: Janet Bartolotta
Puppy Raiser:  Vishal Mistry & Family, Neil Cronin
Facebook: NoVa- North Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Even though Lemon has a sour name, she is such a sweet dog. Lemon is a quick learner who will perfect any new command in the matter of minutes. Her bouncy personality will guarantee to put a smile on your face, as well as her ability to please her trainer. She’s also the most snuggly dog ever, whenever I would sit on the floor she would run over and curl up in my lap. Overall, Lemon is a sweet, connecting soul and it was my pleasure to help her on her journey as she becomes a successful, confident guide dog! ~Vishal Mistry, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…