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Sarah and Sully

Meet Graduate Sarah

Graduate Team:   Sarah and Sully
About the Team:  Sully, a male black Lab, is Sarah’s 2nd guide dog
Location:  Canton, Ohio
Training:  June 2023 On-Campus

Sarah attended and graduated from The Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus, the first public school for blind students in the US. It’s during her years at OSSB that she learned about Guiding Eyes from an O&M Instructor. Sarah received her first Guiding Eyes dog, Randall, in 2016, and upon his retirement she returned to be partnered with beautiful black Lab, Sully. Sarah appreciates that having a guide dog not only provides increased independence, but also the opportunity to meet many new people in her community, who are interested in her guide dog.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “He is a big bundle of love. I will never get over meeting him.   The first thing he did was run right up to me and give me kisses. He knew I was the one. It’s like he chose me. He has a lot of energy, and we get along just fine. In harness, he’s great. He knows what he has to do. There is a great paratransit system here with buses and vans, and he sits right at my feet.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes?  “At Ohio State School for the Blind, my Orientation and Mobility instructor, a wonderful lady named Rachel, knew about Guiding Eyes and suggested I contact them. My first guide dog was Randall. He and I were walking down a path at camp once, and suddenly he stopped and wouldn’t go forward. Moments later, a tree branch fell across the path in front of us, missing us entirely. It is a perfect illustration of why I chose to get a well-trained guide dog. I went back to Guiding Eyes this year for Sully.”

How has a guide dog impacted your life? “Having a guide dog has given me confidence, a sense of security, and extra safety. When I had Randall, I learned routes to the grocery and department stores, pharmacy, theater, and other outings. I’m back in my day habilitation, so I will be going on trips with them.  Day hab is like a workshop but has all sorts of fun activities. I volunteered for a while at the Salvation Army and had the opportunity to talk with a group of people about service dogs. I also volunteered in one of the school systems here in Canton and talked with a couple of specific students about service dogs. I just love having a guide dog.”

Were there any training highlights?  “The dogs are trained so well. This time my trainer was Louise, and with her, Sully and I practiced taking para transit, doing street crossings, stairs and escalators, and walking around local towns. I spoke with Susan, my trainer in 2016, and I just had to tell her the story of Randall and the tree branch!”

Meet Guide Dog Sully

DOB:  1/11/2021
Litter ID: S-1C21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Vanna
Stud: Arnie
Littermates: Taylor, Liberty, Captain, Josephine, Constance
Region:  Central NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: MeKalea Chambliss
Puppy Raiser:  Kate Reilley & Family
Facebook: Central NY Puppy Raisers

Special Recognition: Sully was special named by Linda Baker.

From the Puppy Raiser…

Raising Sully was a pleasure, because he was simply a dream puppy. He would constantly bring a smile to anyone’s face that came into contact with him. He has a goofy way about him that puts other people at ease. Sully embodies love and will be such a blessing to his new person. We miss him every day, but we know he’s living up to his potential. ~ Kate Reilley, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…