Friday, May 27, 2011

Hats Off to Our Graduates!

Amber May and yellow Lab pup Cloe in cap and gown

by Club Leader Carrie Mesches

It's the time of year when graduation announcements fill our mailboxes, and if you happen to be lucky enough to have a graduate in your household, it's a very bittersweet and exciting time. Graduations remind us that our kids are growing up, as they start a new chapter in their lives. We know that they are going on to do great things and are excited for them as they begin a new adventure. With our children as well as our Guide Dog puppies, their success is a direct reflection of the love and hard work that we have put into raising them. We had two special graduates in our puppy club this spring. They were able to cross the stage with the puppies they have worked so hard to raise, and who will be moving on to their higher education soon as well.

Amber May graduated from Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, California. She is an outstanding student with exceptional character who will be going on to UC Davis to pursue her goal of becoming a veterinarian. She has raised her puppy, Chloe, with the help of her parents, Dan and Tami, and her brother Ryan. Amber is someone who has “dog whisperer” type natural ability to bond with and train dogs. It's hard not to see the amazing relationship she has built with Chloe. Amber and Chloe have been wonderful additions to our puppy club, and while we will certainly miss Amber, we hope that she will get involved with the puppy club in Davis. Chloe will be going to college this fall as well, and we hope that she saves her cap for graduation at Guide Dogs for the Blind.

My daughter Sophie graduated from La Loma Junior High School, also in Modesto, California. She will be going on to Modesto High School next year, and is a very well-rounded, high-achieving student. Having Luigi at school with her everyday made Junior High more fun, and helped her to make friends that she otherwise may not have met. She raised Luigi with the help of her parents, (my husband Jeremy and I) as well as her siblings, Ben, Olivia and Emma. Sophie and Luigi have a very strong bond, and he is the wonderful dog that he is because of her consistent handling and patient, sweet nature. Luigi is going back to "Guide Dog college" on June twelfth, and like any child leaving the home for school, we will miss him dearly, but are extremely excited to watch him shine and grow into whomever he's meant to be.

Graduations are such a happy time, as we know our kids and puppies are going on to do great things and hopefully help others in some way. While it's hard not to have them around, the love that makes us miss them is the same love that made them as wonderful as they are!

Sophie Mesches and yellow Lab Luigi

Sophie and Luigi were also featured in an article and video by the Modesto Bee:

Are you and your dog graduating this month?


  1. Congrats to the graduates! And great article, Carrie.

  2. my guide Valencia and I graduated on May 20th with our master's degrees, I made sure she got her name called as we walked across the stage :)

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