Kristin & Cassius

Kristin leans over and hugs Cassius, giving him praise for a job well done. She’s scratching him under the chin and he is enjoying the affection.

Kristin, a Seeing Eye Instructor is pictured working with a German shepherd named Cassius. As an instructor, Kristin has multiple responsibilities that contribute to successful Seeing Eye dog teams: she trains Seeing Eye dogs, evaluates applicants, matches the dogs and applicants into teams, and helps the newly formed teams bond and work together. She chose to become an instructor due to her combined love of animals and desire to work with people who have disabilities. When asked the most rewarding part of her job, Kristin describes the moment when she introduces a person to their new Seeing Eye dog, “I realize that in that moment I just changed their life forever. Watching their first trips and seeing the bond beginning to mold is just amazing. I always prepare to shed tears at least once on this day, it’s inevitable.”

Kristin praises Cassius for alerting her to a low hanging tree branch while walking down the sidewalk.

Seeing Eye Instructors have a special bond with all of the dogs they train, but Cassius sticks out in Kristin’s mind. Her account of working with him could fit many dogs who are trained at The Seeing Eye, “He was willing, motivated and eager to please. He would be so proud of himself when he did his job well!”

In the accompanying photo, Kristin is praising Cassius for alerting her to an obstruction in their path, in this case an overhead tree branch.