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Suzanne and Token

Meet Graduate Suzanne

Suzanne smiles while sitting with yellow guide Token for their team portraitGraduate Team: Suzanne and Token
About the team: Token, a male yellow Lab, is Suzanne’s 5th Guiding Eyes dog
Location: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Training: December 2023 On-Campus

Suzanne and her guide dog Token live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where Suzanne works full time as a medical scribe. Her current project in this role is in research and development for data generation through artificial intelligence. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, all things fitness and nutrition, crocheting, reading, and jogging. Suzanne enjoys going for runs as part of her workouts and is happy to be able to take her guide dog handling “to the pavement” with Token. She enjoys volunteering to crochet afghans for nursing homes and baby blankets for different charities.

How would you describe your guide dog? “He’s smart, energetic, and focused when he needs to be. He won’t get up on my bed by himself, but he’ll come over to me like ‘can we go to the bed now?’ He likes to stay close by and is always in close reach that way. Token doesn’t play so much, but he will chew his bone! He’s like, ‘I’ll just hang out here’. He learns quickly – it makes it easy to target new things with him.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Token is my fifth guide dog from Guiding Eyes. I never even tried the other schools when I was applying. I applied to Guiding Eyes because I know someone who had a dog from them. I’ve been going back every time because they have excellent dogs and stellar facilities. It’s just an overall great program. The follow up help is really extensive and there is always help when you need it.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “There’s just such extreme independence. I can safely go to a lot more places with Token. I can walk faster with him than I can with a cane. Having Token takes some of the guesswork out of navigating.”

Were there any training highlights? “It was the start of the Christmas season when I was on campus and Michelle, our instructor, was in charge of the music in the van; we sang a lot of Christmas songs in the van. It was fun to have a nice spread and Thanksgiving table with my second family the first week of class. Thanksgiving is meaningful to me with my dogs. I spent the holiday at Guiding Eyes when receiving my third dog too, and she died exactly ten years later on Thanksgiving. I returned with my fourth guide dog this Thanksgiving and received Token.”

Meet Guide Dog Token

DOB:  12/19/2021
Litter ID: 3T321
Color/Breed:  Yellow/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Zayna
Stud: Opa
Littermates: Tinsel, Tim, Twilight
Region:  Westchester NY
Regional Puppy Instructor: Elizabeth Vacchiano
Puppy Raiser:  The Bohn Family
Facebook: Westchester NY Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Token was my fourth puppy to raise. The day I picked him up as a 10 week old puppy, I knew in my heart he was going to be my lucky token. He was going to be the one to make it as a guide dog and change someone’s life. Token was a fun, confident puppy to raise. He was always willing and happy to go on any adventure with me, and he loved to lay at my feet and follow me everywhere I went. He became a great companion and it was so much fun watching him explore the world around him. He is one happy boy, always smiling and also putting smiles on everyone he he passed by. As a puppy raiser this moment is what we worked so hard for, to watch our puppy succeed with all their hard work training to be that one special guide to one special handler. My heart is so full, knowing I had a small part in this incredible journey of a puppy that became a guide dog. ~ Rachel Bohn 

Photos of the Team…