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Positively Upstate: Felipe, the guide dog

Positively Upstate: Jeanie Tirado and her seeing-eye dog, Felipe

A Troy woman’s life depends upon the thing she most fears … a dog. Not just any dog – her guide dog, Felipe.

“I was born blind.” Tirado explains. “I’m scared of dogs and I was never scared of him. I petted him and loved him up and everything.”

Felipe is Tirado’s 8th guilde dog and recently finished up 3 weeks of training at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights. Tirado says it was an easy match and she’s already doing things with Felipe she normally wouldn’t do as early with other dogs in the past.

“I think a guide dog gives you a lot of freedom to do things I wouldn’t normally do with a cane.” She says.

Felipe’s job, essentially, is to keep his owner safe. Especially when out walking the busy streets of Troy.

“What they teach them to do is to stop at curbs. I have to know when to cross. I have to tell them when to cross and hopefully it is safe.” Tirado says.

She says she trusts Felipe with her life – something at one point would seem impossible since she is afraid of dogs.

“I think with a dog you have more freedom to do things. And even if you’re a little leery of something you’re more able to do it because you have eyes with you basically.”

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