Local visually impaired woman aided by guide dog

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — For someone who is visually impaired, having the ability to be independent can make a world of difference.

21-year-old Erin Sutton just graduated from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, along with her guide dog, Gaston.

“I have an eye condition called ROP, which is retinopathy of prematurity,” Sutton said.

Gaston is a 2-year-old Labrador Retriever. Sutton says the class helped her move forward with Gaston.

“I loved the school. It was a great experience,” Sutton said. “I stayed there for three weeks, and, of course, it taught me everything I needed to know.”

From stopping at curbs, to steps and negotiating traffic, Gaston’s harness helps keep communication with Sutton.

Sutton says she’s had Gaston for about three weeks, and she’s now looking forward to going to college at the University of Memphis-Lambuth with Gaston this fall.

“I think it will go very well. He is very well mannered, so he is not going to have any problem,” Sutton said.

Erin says she will be majoring in social work.

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