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Thomas and Oscar

Meet Graduate Thomas

Special Recognition: Thomas and Oscar’s training was sponsored in loving memory of Edward and Fleurette Roberts, from their daughter, Christine.

Graduate Tom and black Lab  guide dog OscarGraduate Team:  Thomas and Oscar
About the Team:  Oscar, a male black Lab, is Thomas’ 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Monroeton, Pennsylvania
Training:  November 2022 On-Campus

Thomas is enjoying retired life on his farm in rural Pennsylvania, often going out on walks with his wife and granddaughters on the path around their property or the rail trails in their area. He and his wife have two Maltese dogs named Harley and Charity and are involved in their Baptist church, attending church regularly. They enjoy spending time with their granddaughters regularly, making the three hour journey to visit them every other weekend. Black Lab Oscar is a welcome addition to the family.  

How would you describe your guide dog? “He is laidback, easygoing, and chill. He looks forward to his walks and enjoys our time spent together on those walks. He’s just what I wanted because he’s not very hyper and we’re good buddies.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I’ve only been blind for two years, and when I became blind, I kind of withdrew within myself, where I didn’t want to go out or do anything. I wanted to stay here at home, and my wife felt bad that I wouldn’t go out or shopping with her, because I didn’t want to leave the house. So, she thought a guide dog would give me back my independence and that’s why we decided to apply for a guide dog. That’s what Oscar did – he brought me back to where I love going out and going shopping with my wife. I love spending time with my grandkids, and I look forward to taking walks again. It gave me back the independence I felt like I’d lost.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “My wife and I talk about it all the time. I don’t know what it is about a dog that gives you back that independence, but they do, and it makes you feel so much freer. It makes you get out and about more, so he gave me back that independence and freedom. Oscar made me feel like I wanted to get going again, be more involved, go out and enjoy the country that God has given us, and be free to do stuff on my own.”

Were there any training highlights? “A highlight was the people at Guiding Eyes, who were so great and phenomenal. They’re so kind and giving; they made the whole experience comfortable. They made you feel right at home and wanted to do anything they could to help you. Everyone there is so nice, kind, and giving.”

Meet Guide Dog Oscar

DOB:  3/1/2020
Litter ID: 3O20
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Brood: Evie
Stud: Oreo
Littermates: Orion, Oahu, Omega, Ola, Opie
Region:  Bay, Eastern MA, Maine
Regional Puppy Instructor: Cindy Tait, Lisa Bumbalo
Puppy Raiser:  Sharon Boyle, Rose Marie Mandella, Lee Anne Leverone, Ann Walko & Mike Muchmore
Facebook: Bay Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Eastern Mass Puppy Raisers
Facebook: Maine Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

Oscar is definitely an “it takes a village” pup! He had a community of four amazing puppy raisers who gave him an ocean of love and some pretty awesome experiences. He started his puppy program life in Maryland with his starting raiser, moved onto to Unity College in Maine with his student raiser, then it was onto mid-coast Maine where flew up and down the coast with his third raiser who’s also a pilot, and he became a salty dog, surfing the waves with his finishing raiser at a beach in southern Maine. Without a doubt, Oscar is a lovable, goofy, wise beyond his years, calm and gentle soul. Good luck sweet boy. We love you!! We miss you!!  ~ Lee-Anne Leverone, Puppy Raiser

Oscar is a very special boy with a great personality! He will be with you through your greatest moments and even your not so best moments. When I was raising him, I was sick one week. He came right up to the couch every 15 minutes on the dot to check up on me. He is the most caring boy! I was lucky enough to bring him to the aquarium for one of his outings. The beluga whale saw him and swam right over to the glass! Even other animals see how valuable he is, I am sure you will enjoy him just as much!  ~ Rose Mandella, Puppy Raiser

Photos of the Team…