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Stacy and Vancouver

Meet Graduate Stacy

Stacy sits next to yellow Lab guide Vancouver for their team portraitGraduate Team: Stacy and Vancouver
About the Team: Vancouver is a male yellow Lab and Stacy’s 1st guide dog
Location: Liverpool, New York
Training: December 2023 On-Campus

Stacy was raised in a small town, south of the city of Buffalo in upstate New York. She currently lives in Central NY, in the Syracuse area. At the beginning of her work career, Stacy attended a BOCES program as a machinist, and participated in an apprenticeship as an operating engineer. This training prepared her for working at various manufacturing jobs in the aerospace parts and steel industry before she retired. Stacy’s hobbies and interests have included gardening, golf, racquetball, skiing, bicycling, hiking, camping and motorcycles. A diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa has left her with approximately five percent of her vision, but despite her visual decline in recent years, she continues to enjoy gardening, hiking, and kayaking. Throughout her life, Stacy has a few canine breeds including Pomeranians, and a rescue mini-Australian Shepherd. Stacy’s Australian Shepherd taught her how helpful a working dog could be, and her beloved pet inspired her to think about applying for a guide dog. Vancouver is Stacy’s first guide dog.

How would you describe your guide dog?  “Vancouver is a very sweet boy and always wants to please me. He does very well with direction and loves working. He is a wonderful working dog. When not working he is a lovable companion and just wants to sit on my lap or be next to me. Vancouver gives me the best of both worlds.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I researched a couple of guide dog schools. I selected Guiding Eyes because they were located closest to my home, and they responded to my inquiries quickly.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “Vancouver has made a big difference in my life, both emotionally and physically. After my pet dogs had passed, my declining vision was getting me down and depressed. Vancouver has made a huge impact on my morale. Without my cane,  I feel more relaxed walking. He gets me out of the house and enables me to focus on my activities. He will enable me to travel more. In fact, I will be traveling out of town by train to see my mother.”

Were there any training highlights? “Shannon was a wonderful and patient instructor. She worked closely with me to accommodate my hearing impairment. It took me a couple of days for me to get used to Vancouver’s size. Shannon assured me the match was going to work out and Vancouver turned out to be the perfect dog for me. She and the Guiding Eyes staff were open to my input relating to my hearing deficit, enabling my training to go smoothly, as well as maybe helping others going forward. The staff, from the trainers to the cooks, waiters, and care staff, were all phenomenal. There were six students, including myself, in my group. My training activities included local trips around Yorktown Heights and the City of White Plains. I loved the hustle and bustle of the larger city. The accommodations at Guiding Eyes included bedrooms that were comfortable, and the food was amazing.”

Meet Guide Dog Vancouver

DOB:  6/9/2021
Litter ID: 4V21
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Piper
Stud: Bosley
Littermates: Van, Vader, Viviann, Valentine, Virgil, Valdez
Region:  Richmond
Regional Puppy Instructor: Madeline Bruggeman
Puppy Raiser:  Kendall Wyttenbach
Facebook: Richmond Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Vancouver was a snuggly puppy who gave everything his all. He always wanted to make you smile with his silly personality and wanted to give love to everyone. He brightened my days and got so excited with each new skill he learned. Being a first time raiser, he taught me as much as I taught him as we tackled each class and outing. He sparked a passion in me to continue raising for this amazing organization and can’t wait to see how he continues to make an impact to others! So proud of you Couv!  ~ Kendall Wyttenbach, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…