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MMeunier

Tracy and Alice

Meet Graduate Tracy

Tracy sits with black lab guide Alice against backdrop of blue sky and water

Graduate Team:  Tracy and Alice
About the Team:  Alice, a female black Lab, is Tracy’s 7th Guiding Eyes dog
Location:   West Haven, Connecticut
Training:  July 2023 Home training

Tracy lives in West Haven and works at the VA Medical Center as a Certified Visual Rehab Therapist. She works with veterans who have blindness due to traumatic brain injuries, as well as those with acquired blindness from macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and other conditions. Tracy, after her own onset of blindness at the age of 23, attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota with her bachelor’s degree. She continued her education and graduated from the University of Western Michigan with her master’s degree in Blind Rehabilitation Teaching. Tracy went on to do an internship in Chicago at the Blind Center.  She also worked at the Waco, Texas Blind Center.  She has three brothers and two sisters and enjoys sewing and working in her flower gardens.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Alice is such a loving dog, and so friendly; actually, a ‘social butterfly’.  She is very curious and when we walk down the halls of the Medical Center, she looks around and checks the offices as we go by, just wanting to know what is going on.” 

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “Before going to college, I was in rehab at The Lighthouse for the Blind in Deluth, MN, and met a worker whose name was Marvin.  He had a guide dog from Guiding Eyes and talked with me, suggesting that I check Guiding Eyes out and apply for a dog.  I did and have been going there ever since. I had one golden retriever, and the other six have been Labs.” 

How has a guide dog impacted your life?  “Having a guide dog has completely changed my life.  If I hadn’t gone to Guiding Eyes for my first dog, I wouldn’t have had the courage to go on to college.  Having a guide dog increases your confidence and is such a good companion.  Alice is a great guide in my community. These days, I mostly use Paratransit when I want to go out for groceries, or to stores like Target, Joanne’s or Petco and she rides very well.”

Were there any training highlights? “This Home Training program was very good.  Chrissy focused on what I needed to do each day.  It is a very busy hospital with people going by constantly, so Alice needed to get used to all the activity and maneuvering around the halls.  At work she stays at my side as I meet one-on-one with students, or when in a group class with a few students. I waited a while until Guiding Eyes found a dog that would be a good match for me.  All I can say is, Alice was worth waiting for and she is a keeper.”

 

Meet Guide Dog Alice

DOB:  1/3/2021
Litter ID: 3A21
Color/Breed:  Black/Labrador
Gender: Female
Brood: Wanita
Stud: Duke
Littermates: Alfie, Aruba, Adeline, Ava, Ann, Amari, Arlene, Amethyst
Region:  Catoctin Puppy Raisers
Regional Puppy Instructor: Jeanyne Gembarski
Puppy Raiser:  Blair Mackintosh, Jim & Linda McCauley
Facebook: Catoctin Puppy Raisers

From the Puppy Raiser…

We never thought we wanted to raise a female after raising 8 males, but then came Alice. We were only supposed to have her for a few weeks, but we couldn’t let her go. She is the sweetest dog who is still remembered by people she met. Alice is very smart and always ready to please. She was also raised by our other two dogs, Dalton and Wayne, who were former GEB guide dogs. We always knew Alice would make us proud.  ~Jim and Linda McCauley, Puppy Raisers

Photos of the Team…