Céline and Irene

Céline Petitjean, a resident of Montréal, Canada, was matched with her first Seeing Eye dog in 1979. She most recently returned in 2009 to be matched with her sixth, a beautiful golden retriever named Irene.

Céline said she appreciates The Seeing Eye for its warm atmosphere, the professionalism of its instructors, and the consideration of the staff -- "not to mention the quality of the menus!"

Once she returned home, Céline taught Irene how to "fetch" as a game to play -- as well as a convenient way to retrieve a glove should she drop it.

Since Céline teaches Sunday School and sings in choir, she has Irene with her in church. Recently a man commented that he had finally noticed she had "an angel" -- Irene was so quiet no one knew she was there.

Céline is bilingual... and now, so is Irene. "I praise her in both languages – bonne fille, bon chien, good girl, atta girl!"

The pair travel for routine activities, such as shopping, university studies, computer courses, group leadership, swimming, and church activities. In addition to having increased independence, avoiding obstacles, and finding benches and doors, Céline says Irene is a "smart, happy, and affectionate companion."

"With a dog I walk more, and it surely has the positive effect of keeping me in better physical shape as well as in good humor," she says.