Graduating Class #379

Class 379 graduated on July 7, 2013. Read graduates’ reflections on training with their new guide dog!

Graduating class with instructors

We are proud to introduce Guide Dogs of America graduates, from left: Mary Reifowitz and Treacle; Filder Auma and Leo; Darla Rogers and Huck; Erika Medina and Rosa; Sadi Taylor and Tika; Lamar Upshaw and Moxie; Shonna Hunter and Hunter; Nancy Boome and Wade; and Karl Mundstock and Tucker. Class 379 instructors from left: Bryan Young, Chris Medina, Linda Hawes, and Dave Ponce.

We sat down with Class #379 graduates, who traveled to our Sylmar, California campus to receive their gift of a guide dog and train at our school, and asked them two questions: “What did you like best about Guide Dogs of America while you were here training with your new guide dog?” and “Would you recommend GDA to others who are looking for a guide dog?”

Lamar Upshaw and Guide Dog Moxie (Dallas, Texas)
Lamar Upshaw and Guide Dog Moxie“I loved that everything stayed the same as it was since I was last at GDA when I received my first guide dog. I felt like I was coming back home. And again, everything fit like a glove. I would recommend GDA to anyone wanting a guide dog!”


Mary Reifowitz and Guide Dog Treacle (Summerville, South Carolina)
Mary Reifowitz and Guide Dog Treacle“I loved the whole experience – the trainers, the staff. The excitement of receiving a new dog is felt each day. And yes, I would recommend GDA. It’s so nice to know that they stay in contact with each graduate to make sure we are doing well.”


Darla Rogers and Guide Dog Huck (Kansas City, Missouri)
Darla Rogers and Guide Dog Huck“The trainers were so knowledgeable and experienced and they shared what they knew with all of us. It kept us on track to avoid any future problems, yet still made it fun. Yes, GDA is the school I would recommend. The matching of the dogs to the students is the best!”


Nancy Boome and Guide Dog Wade (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Nancy Boome and Guide Dog Wade“From the very beginning, the staff was over the top. My first impression was right on – I felt like I was at home. The trainers were professional and caring. I would recommend GDA! The whole place is compassionate and accepting, and they know what they’re doing.”


Erika Medina and Guide Dog Rosa (Fullerton, California)
Erika Medina and Guide Dog Rosa“I felt like I was treated like a princess! They gave us everything we needed to make sure we succeeded. I felt encouraged by the trainers who were strict, but still so very nice to each of us. I would recommend GDA to everyone because I know this is the best school. I felt like I was on a working vacation!”


Filder Auma and Guide Dog Leo (San Diego, California)
Filder Auma and Guide Dog Leo“You can tell that each and every one at this school works from their heart. When working with my dog, I feel like I’m in the world I should be in. I am going to take the power I now have and explore. When I recommend GDA to others I will tell them that they will think it is too good to be true – but it is true.”


Sadi Taylor and Guide Dog Tika (Beaverton, Oregon)
Sadi Taylor and Guide Dog Tika“Not everyone is the same and at GDA they figure out what is best for each of us and tailor the program to our specific needs, and are able to do that because it is a small school. And I liked that we had a lot of one-on-one with the trainers. I would tell anyone who needs a guide dog to go to GDA.”


Karl Mundstock and Guide Dog Tucker (El Cerrito, California)
Karl Mundstock and Guide Dog Tucker“GDA is amazing. There was always someone to answer any questions we had. The trainers have an obvious passion for what they do. They work like a team and make the students feel a part of that team. I would recommend GDA in a New York minute!”


Shonna Hunter and Guide Dog Hunter (Bluffton, South Carolina)
Shonna Hunter and Guide Dog Tucker“These dogs are so well behaved. The trainers show us everything we need to know about how to care for our dogs. I am very impressed with the organization and how caring and professional everyone is and how comfortable it is being there. Yes, I would recommend GDA as the school to go to.”


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