Congratulations to GDB’s newest qualified guide dog mobility instructor (GDMI), Taelor Michehl. Taelor recently completed her GDB apprenticeship in our Training Department, which included 3+ years of comprehensive academics and intensive on-the-job training with mentor instructors. But becoming a qualified GDMI is just her latest GDB accomplishment - Taelor has been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind since she was a preteen, and has raised seven guide dog puppies!
“I fell in love with the idea of dogs with jobs as a young child and dove head first into puppy raising for GDB when I was 11 years old,” she said. “I knew when raising my first puppy that I wanted to be a guide dog instructor one day. Becoming a qualified guide dog mobility instructor is in many ways the fulfillment of one of my childhood dreams.”
Taelor grew up in Sacramento, and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She initially joined GDB’s staff as a resident advisor on our California campus while simultaneously completing her masters degree in special education with a certification in orientation and mobility from San Francisco State.
“I believe in our mission, and am inspired every day by the dogs I have the privilege to work with and the clients we serve,” Taelor said. “It is incredible working for an organization where I truly feel like I make a tangible difference in individuals’ lives every day.” She loves that every day is different in her job. “Each dog I have trained has had different strengths and challenges, and each client I have had the opportunity to work with has taught me something new.”
Taelor’s passion for her work and GDB has inspired her family to also get involved. When she began working at GDB, her parents started raising guide dog puppies themselves, and are currently raising their sixth puppy!
In her free time, Taelor enjoys reading, playing board games, and spending time with her fiancé and their pets: an English Cocker Spaniel named Roland and two extremely affectionate cats named Sylvana and Kaladin. They also love traveling and enjoying time with their friends and family.
Congratulations once again to Taelor!