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30 Days of Giving

30 Days Of Giving 2017 – Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi

Female student at SUNY Delhi sits with a seeing eye service dog on a bench outside.

Veterinary Science Technology majors Jenda Kwiatkowski and Jillian Robinson are raising a seeing-eye service puppy on campus at SUNY Delhi as part of the college’s partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Their charge, “Chandler” is an 11 month old male Labrador retriever who accompanies the students to classes, dining halls and other campus facilities.

Kwiatkowski, a Syracuse native says she chose to raise a puppy for Guiding Eyes for the Blind because she had previous experience training therapy dogs. “I welcomed the challenges raising a service dog would bring,” says Jenda. “I also wanted to give back to the community. But since I committed to be a puppy raiser, it turned into so much more. I have met people both in and out of the Guiding Eyes program, and Chandler has already reached hundreds of people, both adults and children. He touches people in ways I never could, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be the person standing at the end of his leash.”

Dr. Meckel, lead instructor for the program, says that the guiding eye dog training is an excellent learning opportunity for the students. “It’s also a great way to teach the campus community about the important role of service dogs. Dr. Meckel says the college has been participating in the program since 2016. Chandler is the third dog to be raised on the SUNY Delhi campus.

Faculty and staff from across campus volunteer as “puppy sitters,” specially-trained individuals who watch the puppy for short periods when the students cannot be with them.

“Chandler has been a calm, cool collected pup since the day we met,” says Jenda and hopes that his behavioral assessment will determine if he goes on to “doggie college,” aka the Canine Development Center to be a guide dog. “He’s always been a quiet guy who likes to sit and observe his surroundings and just think things through. He’s the type of pup who will check in with his handler if he questions something, rather than have a complete melt down. I knew from the day we met that he was going to grow into an incredible dog!”


30 Days of Giving 2017:

  1. Day 1: Shopping with a Smile
  2. Day 2: Erie Community College Cook-Off for Kidneys
  3. Day 3: Stony Brook Medicine Helps in Puerto Rico
  4. Day 4: A Day of Service at Onondaga CC
  5. Day 5: New Paltz Students Make a Difference
  6. Day 6: Buffalo State College Dares to Care
  7. Day 7: Niagara County CC Students Lend A Hand for Thanksgiving
  8. Day 8: Old Westbury Helps Haiti
  9. Day 9: A Day of Service at SUNY Potsdam
  10. Day 10: Helping Animals at Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless
  12. Day 12: Morrisville Athletes Go Local For Service
  13. Day 13: SUNY Poly Gives Back Throughout the Region
  14. Day 14: SUNY Oswego Honors Those Battling Ovarian Cancer
  15. Day 15: Brockport Students Volunteer at Thanksgiving
  16. Day 16: SUNY ESF Sends Acorns to Action
  17. Day 17: Doors Open at the Columbia-Greene Community College Giving Closet
  18. Day 18: Monroe Community College Helps Walk for Water
  19. Day 19: SUNY Cortland Supports Crop Hunger Walk
  20. Day 20: Making Music at Farmingdale State to Help the Hungry
  21. Day 21: Increasing Food Security at Dutchess Community College
  22. Day 22: Addressing Food Insecurity On and Around SUNY Geneseo
  23. Day 23: Westchester Community College Plays the UnHunger Games
  24. Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University Assisted Community Schools
  25. Day 25: Mohawk Valley Community College Gives Back To Their Community
  26. Day 26: SUNY Oneonta Students Help Area Children Learn
  27. Day 27: Rockland Community College Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico
  28. Day 28: Empire State College Donates to Caribbean Relief
  29. Day 29: Schenectady County Community College Students Provide Support to Foster Families
  30. Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi
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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.




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