Gui Douyon and Leader Dog Emma

Gui sits on a brick path outdoors on a sunny day. In one hand he holds the leash of the yellow lab and golden retriever cross lying beside him in harness, Emma. With his other hand, he pets Emma

During his sophomore year of college, GuiAlix decided it was time to apply for a Leader Dog. He first needed to strengthen his orientation and mobility skills, so he flew to Michigan for our week-long, accelerated white cane travel training. Shortly after he returned home, he was ready to train with a Leader Dog.

Gui is studying to be a veterinary technician and could not return to Michigan in the middle of a semester for 25 days of guide dog training. Fortunately, we were holding a two-week-long training session in Naples, Florida – right in Gui’s backyard – in February. This is where Gui trained with Leader Dog Emma, whom he describes as his “guardian angel.”

“Emma has changed every aspect of my life,” Gui says. “She looks out for me and I don’t ever have to worry about my blind spots.”

He continues: “Emma keeps up with me. When she sees I’m not doing anything, she just hangs out, but when I grab her harness, she’s ready to go.”

Even though people are always watching Gui and his adorable Labrador retriever Emma when they are on the train or walking around campus, when she is in her harness, Emma is completely disengaged from other people.

“She really moves through a crowd when it’s necessary, and she is good at chilling out, too,” Gui says. “Emma enjoys when I play piano. I’ll go to the piano and she sits under my seat and will veg out until I’m done.”

Gui and Emma were able to stay home and ride out Hurricane Irma this past September. He said the hardest thing for Emma was the heat. For nine days, they had no air conditioning! To cope, they spent more time outside, using fallen trees and branches as an opportunity to practice avoiding obstacles.

Gui said that his ultimate goal is to be a veterinarian. Since Emma will be right there with him attending every class, she might just get DVM after her name, too!

RECOMMENDED POSTS

Firework Safety for Dogs

This Independence Day, many of us will celebrate the date ...

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Kacie

Today’s Voice of the Leader Dog Community is LDB Client ...
A woman and a golden retriever are sitting on a wooden dock with a rippling blue lake in the background. The woman is smiling and sitting cross-legged with her right arm around the dog’s shoulders, she holds the dog’s brown leather leash in her left hand. She has long, straight blond hair and round wire glasses; she is wearing denim capri’s and a white, red and light grey top. The dog’s tongue is hanging out and has a black spot in the middle. He has long light tan fur and a very black nose.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Nancy C

One of my favorite books as a little girl was ...
A group of two women and five men sit around a round gray table smiling and looking at the camera. In the background on a wall is the Leader Dog logo

Leader Dog Volunteers

When you think about what volunteering at Leader Dogs for ...
Christina and Leslie kneel next to Eric, and there's a black lab lying on the floor next to them

Behind the Microphone

What goes into creating a podcast? Well, the simple answer ...
A smiling woman with blonde wavy hair using a green brush to groom a golden retriever standing on a platform next to her. The dog has its mouth open and looks at the camera as if smiling

A Day in the Life of Our Dog Care Team

An insider’s look at how our future Leader Dogs are ...
Never miss a post

We've got cool stories from clients and volunteers, dog training tips, news about Leader Dog and much more coming out on our blog all the time. Stay in the loop!