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Tamisue and Vidal

Meet Graduate Tamisue

Tamisue sits with black Lab guide dog Vidal for their team portraitGraduate Team: Tamisue and Vidal
About the team: Vidal, a male, Black & Tan Lab, is Tamisue’s first guide dog
Location: Presque Isle, Maine
Training: January 2024 On-Campus

Tamisue and her guide dog Vidal live in Presque Isle, Maine, where Tamisue is retired from a career as a registered nurse. She lives with her husband of 30 years, Jay, and a short walk across the backyard brings her to her son Brennan’s house, where he lives with his wife, Sarah. In her free time she enjoys tending to her flower garden, cooking, and listening to audiobooks. Her most recent culinary venture has been making homemade pizza! She looks forward to finding her niche with her new companion, Vidal.

How would you describe your guide dog? “He is so friendly with everyone. He’s a celebrity! He has the best personality ever. My goodness, he is so sweet and sensitive. He always looks to me for my approval and to see if I’m okay. He’s always checking on me. At night he has two Orvis beds to choose from and a crate. His one bed is two feet from mine, but he chooses to sleep on a rug right beside my bed, as close to me as he can get. He always wants to be near me.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I started out looking at Guiding Eyes because of the location, but it ended up being their friendliness. The kindness I received when dealing with the people in the office was wonderful. I just can’t express how smoothly the process went, and how everyone explained things and helped me understand how it was going to work. I never felt like I was a bother.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “One of the biggest things that having a guide dog has meant to me is that I’m not afraid of the dark anymore. I have five degrees of vision left, and of course I’m night blind. I learned to trust Vidal. My trainer Dan had me shut my eyes and do a walk around the library. I couldn’t believe how much trust was involved. It took away the fear I had inside of me. He’s my eyes! We took a night walk in a place I’d never been, and it took me until halfway to relax my arms and let him do the guiding. The darkness is going to come and it’s not going to go away, but it was really cool to let the dog lead me and not be afraid.”

Were there any training highlights? “As far as training went, another thing Vidal did really well for me was stairs. I had really been having a hard time with them, but he took me up and down flights of stairs without missing a step! That was a big deal for me. I was thinking it was not going to go well, but he didn’t miss a step. He was right there with me. Doing stairs was awesome. He also does really well with distractions. He’s just such a good dog!”

Meet Guide Dog Vidal

DOB:  9/9/2021
Litter ID: 7VV21
Color/Breed:  Black & Tan/Labrador
Gender: Male
Brood: Noni
Stud: Elrod
Littermates: Valaria, Verona, Velma, Volt, Virginia, Villa, Vroom, Valkyrie
Region:  Cleveland West
Regional Puppy Instructor: Macy Nauman
Puppy Raiser:  Larry & Diane Jones

From the Puppy Raiser…

I was amazed when I first saw Vidal. He is a beautiful, unique, black and tan lab. His coloring is so like a rottweiler, I was frequently questioned about his breed. I overheard someone call him a ‘rottador’ so jokingly adopted it as my answer to this question. Vidal was the third pup I raised, he is so sensitive and sweet, yet playful. He loves to swim in any water available, even big puddles, but Lake Erie was his favorite. Eating ice cream and sleeping with his lizard were also activities he enjoyed. My wish is for Vidal’s new best friend to enjoy the sweetest, most gentle natured pup ever. I hope your life with this ‘rottador’ brings you great happiness and love. ~ Diane Jones

Photos of the Team…