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Tyler and Bodie

Meet Graduate Tyler

Graduate Tyler and black Lab guide dog Bodie

May Home Training
Graduate Team
: Tyler and Bodie
About the Team: Bodie, a male black Lab, is Tyler’s 1st guide dog
Hometown:  Council Bluffs, Iowa
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor: James Gardner

Tyler is a 25 year old, first time guide dog user, born and raised in Iowa. He was born with bi-lateral detached retinas, causing total blindness in both eyes and also has a partial hearing loss to mid and high range frequencies. Despite his sensory challenges, Tyler’s accomplishments include attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, National Honor Society and starting his own business. In 2016, Tyler graduated from the Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare as a licensed massage therapist. As his business, “Unleashed Relief”, continues to grow, he hopes to purchase his own home. He currently lives on a 20-acre farm, raising corn and beans in Council Bluffs, which borders Omaha, Nebraska. His interests include hosting an internet radio show, broadcasting a weekly show for the American Council for the Blind and participating in religious activities at St. Peters Catholic Church. He is also an antique tractor enthusiast restoring a 1958 Oliver 770.

How would you describe your guide dog? “Bodie is an absolute angel. He has the biggest heart, and he can kind of read my mind, in terms of knowing where I want to go, especially in places we’ve been to before. Bodie loves to please me and is always wagging his tail. When I am sitting down, and Bodie is not working, he just loves to put his paws on my lap. My entire family, which includes my parents and older sister, also just love Bodie.”

What made you decide to apply for a guide dog from Guiding Eyes? “I first learned about Guiding Eyes while I was attending an American Council of the Blind Convention back in 2010. I knew back then, there would come a time in my future to apply for a guide dog through Guiding Eyes.”

How has having a guide dog impacted your life? “I feel so much more confident having Bodie by my side, especially when I am traveling away from home. He provides me with great companionship. I am so much more comfortable knowing that I can pick up Bodie’s harness and just move about and go. In church I no longer need a sighted guide to assist me in finding the lectern at church when reading to the parish.  Bodie takes me up the stairs and immediately to the lectern, instilling even greater confidence in me as I read.”

Were there any training highlights? “I trained at home because my home environment offered the most rural community training, which in my case, was recommended by Guiding Eyes. Our rural training taught Bodie to target certain areas, like walking to a friend’s house down the road, two miles away. There were times I was ready to throw in the towel, so to speak, but my instructor James helped Bodie and me persevere. While training, I remembered my second grade teacher of the visually impaired telling me I had two choices: I could be a quitter or a winner. James reminded me of the benefits of being a winner.”

Meet Guide Dog Bodie

From the very first day Bodie joined our family as this adorable little black ball of fluff, he was very much a go with the flow kind of guy. He came to work with me in our local Middle School and nothing would faze him. He loved the hallways in between classes when all the kids would be traveling. He could do fire drills like they were nothing! He loved every kid and adult in the building. Bodie enjoyed hiking with us and his many canine buddies year round. Swimming in the summer was as much fun as playing in the snow in the winter! Bodie was such a pleasure to raise. He loved to work, and truly wanted to please his humans. He was funny and affectionate. He has these warm, soft, kind eyes that will look at you with so much love! I wish you and Bodie all the best as you embark on this journey together.

Barb and Gary Paszul, Puppy Raisers of Bodie


Enjoy these photos of the team and Bodie as a pup on program…