Puppy Love Team Bios – Atlantic Shores Retirement Community
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Puppy Love Team Bios

Atlantic Shores/Guiding Eyes for the Blind “Puppy Love” Team

 

Canine Team Members

“Athena”
Gender: Female
Breed: Black Labrador
Birth Date: 0/20/2011
Original hometown: Patterson, N.Y.
Parents: Panther (Black Labrador), and Fresca (Yellow Labrador)

“Godrick”
Gender: Male
Breed: Black Labrador
Birth Date: 8/8/11
Original hometown: Patterson, NY
Parents: Europe (Yellow Labrador), and Panther (Black Labrador)

 

Human Team Members

Linda Palminteri – Atlantic Shores Resident/Puppy Raiser for “Athena”
Age: 61
Original hometown: Born in Queens, NY, and grew up on Long Island (Wantagh, NY)
Linda comes to the program with personal experience with guide dogs. Her fraternal twin sister Lois has a form of Muscular Dystrophy. In support of her sister, Linda helped train with her and her assistance dog from East Coast Assist with Disabilities.  Through the program, Lois received a wonderful service dog named Carmichael – a black lab that served her for more than 16 years.  Because Linda personally experienced the training, and saw the dramatic effect a service dog had in the life of her sister, she was highly motivated to volunteer for the Puppy Love Program. According to Linda, I think I am up for the challenge, and will work hard in Carmichael’s memory. Who says twins don’t live the same life?”

Betty Brown – Atlantic Shores Resident/Puppy Team for “Athena”
Age: 84
Original hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Ever since childhood, Betty has always loved dogs. Growing up, their family pets included Collies, Springer Spaniels, and Beagles. When she was raising her own family, Betty opened her home to a series of “loveable mutts, all of which had litters of up to 10 puppies, so there were always puppies in the house.” While working at a radio station in Richmond, Betty was impacted by meeting a blind pianist who used his guide dog to help him navigate around the recording studio. Part of her decision to be a back-up puppy raiser was also due to a former Atlantic Shores neighbor who was blind and deaf. “What a blessing a guide dog would have been for him.”

Kathy Parks:  Atlantic Shores Resident Services Director/Puppy Raiser for “Godrick”
Age: 49
Original hometown: Millville, NJ
Kathy has always had a dog in her life, including many labs, a Corgi, and now two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Her two dogs, Tucker and Charlie, love their new friend Godrick — they all even like to sleep together. Her husband, R.A., who is a hunter, jokingly comments that he wants to teach Godrick additional skills – including fetching a duck! Kathy has worked with special needs children for more than 20 years in her former career with YMCA. She feels fortunate to be a part of the Atlantic Shores/Guiding Eyes for the Blind Puppy Love Program. Kathy admires the work of all the Guiding Eyes volunteers and is proud to be one herself. As she says, “these dogs are like angels with four feet. I am proud that Godrick will someday help someone be independent.”

Jack Stokes – Atlantic Shores Resident/Puppy Team for “Godrick”
Age:  82
Original hometown: Kings Mountain, NC
Some of Jack’s earliest recollections are of having dogs around, including a bulldog named Duke who was bigger than him at the time.  The only times that Jack lacked the companionship of a dog was while he was in the Navy, college and law school. After this, he went through a period of rescuing dogs from the pound. Later, he became involved in breeding Basset Hounds, and after several generations of that, got into showing champion Doberman Pinschers.  His favorite of all these wonderful dogs was Gunther, a Weimaraner – –  the most intelligent and loving of all his companions. At times it was necessary to use a professional trainer or handler, but for the most part Jack preferred to have a personal relationship with his dogs. According to Jack, “the Guiding Eyes For The Blind program has opened my eyes to a much deeper meaning for training a dog for a greater purpose — to impact the lives of others. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Puppy Love program.”

Gina Rose – Virginia Beach Area Regional Coordinator/Guiding Eyes For The Blind
Gina started volunteering for Guiding Eyes for the Blind over 15 years ago when her children were in elementary school in Virginia Beach. She began volunteering to combine her love of dogs with the ideals her parents always taught her—to give back to the community. Gina and her husband Neil are currently raising their 12th puppy for Guiding Eyes. In addition to guide dogs, Gina’s puppies have gone on to careers with ATF as explosive and arson detection dogs, and GEB’s “Heeling Autism” program, where the puppy was matched with a young child who is autistic. Gina volunteers alongside many dedicated Guiding Eyes volunteers in the Virginia Beach area, who teach classes, help with a wide variety of community events, and educate the public about guide dogs – – in addition to raising their puppies.

Atlantic Shores “Puppy Love” Support Team
Eden Jones: Atlantic Shores Executive Director/Puppy Love Program Spokesperson
Liz Dammeyer: Atlantic Shores Harbourway Assisted Living Administrator
Tripp Little: Atlantic Shores Managing Director of Operations
Marge Miner: Atlantic Shores resident
Katie Stanley: Atlantic Shores Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Guiding Eyes For The Blind Volunteer Puppy-Training Team
Jocelyn (Jocey) Pritchard
Kristin Martin
Lynne Post