GDB's Blog: No Bones About It

Meet Brian Mucyo and his guide dog Mannix

Brian and his yellow Lab Mannix sitting on a bench together.  Brian's arm is around Mannix, who is wearing his harness.

You may have read about Brian Mucyo and Mannix in Guide Dog News. Brian is a college honors student majoring in finance and economics with minors in Christian and legal studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. He currently serves as the president of the university’s International Club. This club is tasked with providing a home for the international student community, and advocating for cultural awareness and inclusion into the broader student body. He is also an officer on the very first Multicultural Committee, which plays a mediating and representative role for all students. Recently Brian and his guide dog Mannix attended the 23rd session of the Youth Assembly Conference at the United Nations (UN), an accomplishment he marks as one of his greatest achievements.

When Brian applied for a guide dog he was both excited and nervous. While he expected his independence to improve, he had no idea how immensely life-changing having a guide dog and furry companion would actually be. “Before I had Mannix, I would dream - but also wonder how I could possibly achieve those dreams - if I could barely walk around my campus without feeling worried and stressed out. So my dreams were just that, dreams. I could not really see myself doing certain things even though I was good at orientation and mobility (O&M) and was well equipped using my cane. The busier a room or venue became, the more impossible it was for me to feel at ease. Having Mannix did more than improve my mobility and independence. It helped boost my confidence, and has allowed me to achieve things I though never possible. It has led to me achieving goals and dreams.”

Brian and Mannix’s future plans include continuing to make a positive impact on campus, in their local community, and on an international stage. He is currently working on a few new initiatives including a community outreach program for local high schoolers, and hopefully other international conferences in the near future. Brian says time management and a positive attitude are key to juggling a heavy academic schedule and extracurricular activities. For fun, he credits Mannix, who is always excited to play and is his “go-to-buddy to de-stress.” He enjoys playing guitar and is certain Mannix is a music lover!

When asked what he’d say to someone considering applying for a guide dog, Brian says, “I would strongly encourage them to do so. Yes, having a guide dog adds responsibilities to your daily routine as you now have an additional family member to take care of, but the benefits most definitely outweigh the costs. GDB does an incredible job at assisting graduates towards being successful. From helping with veterinary costs, to assisting in finding resources, to providing excellent advice and insight, GDB’s amazing staff is a phone call away. GDB also provides a unique and memorable training experience. The classes are small, with student-to-instructor ratio of 2:1, and a reasonable training duration, which is not so long that it disrupts your life. Having a guide dog is life changing. I would not see myself doing all that I do without Mannix by my side. I am forever grateful to GDB for making this possible. The most impressive thing is how much thought is put into making sure the right dog is paired with the right person. Mannix is not only the kind of companion I wanted, but he is also the kind of companion that I needed.”

Categories: Alumni, Just for Fun , Travel