Our Volunteers

Heidi Hespelt

Leader

cc'd dogs Sheraton & Marlin

House with fenced yard

I love our group! I have been raising puppies since 2001.

Robin Roselle

Leader

Howard (spouse)

Barbara, Kevin, Gunnison, & Rinn-Cora Sweeney

Raiser

KODA, Barbara, Gunnison, Rinn-Cora, Kevin

House

We love GDB Seattle! Since joining in 2020 we’ve had so much fun with the doggos and the people, and becoming more aware of the need for and value of a guide dog. Kevin loves mountain biking, Gunnison loves ultimate frisbee, Rinny loves art and climbing, and I am into all of them (and travel).

Carol & Brian Gregory

Raiser

VIVI and cc'd yellow Lab Asher

Part-time in Seattle in a townhome near the Pike Place Market and part-time on Whidbey in a home on Mutiny Bay

Brian; a Seattle native, retired radio broadcaster, and current book reader for the Washington Braille Library. Enjoys photography and travel.Carol; a Washington native, financial advisor, and Advisory Member to the GDB Investment Committee Board. I also enjoy playing and studying classical piano, and travel.

Dana & Dave O'Brien

Raiser

OCEAN, Zoe & Ian

Gunilla Luthra

Raiser

SULU, Vidur, Yasmin, Ruben, Linnea, and two pet dogs: Gadget and Beignet.

We live in a house with a fenced yard.

I joined this wonderful group of people and puppies during COVID in 2020. It’s been a pleasure to be a first-time raiser – and a lot of hard work too. It gives me so much joy to see these pups develop and mature. I’m originally from Sweden, but I’ve lived in Seattle since 1998. I worked at Microsoft, then had my own consulting company for about ten years. My husband and I have three grown children, all in college on the east coast. I thrive outdoors and spend early mornings either on the Seattle waterways in a rowing shell, or trail running, or leading hikes for the Seattle Mountaineers.

Hannah Fenelon & Jake Dern

Raiser

NIMOY

We live in an apartment up a few flights of open stairs (no elevator) and do not have a yard. We live two blocks from Miller Park and use the tennis courts there to let the pups run around. We are open to puppy play dates especially if anyone is willing to share their yard with Nimoy from time to time! The pup will come to work with us when we go in person but we primary work from home.

We moved from Wisconsin in 2020 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. Jake works at Microsoft and Hannah is getting her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington (graduating June 2022). We love hiking, eating and cooking lots of food, and spending time with friends at breweries!

Howard Hirshman

Raiser

Robin (spouse)

Jeremy Whalen

Raiser

ARI, Melissa Petersen (spouse)

Single family home in north Seattle with a fenced yard.

I started raising in 2017. I only raise Goldens because they are the best. I'm a strength and conditioning coach, and my hobbies are weight lifting, outdoor adventures, and traveling.

Julie Steppan

Raiser

NATE

Apartment with a deck; I do work at the office most days.

I live in Bellevue. I love to keep the pups busy with lots of outings centralized around work and gym time every day!

Karen & Paul Hogle

Raiser

WYATT

House with fenced yard

We love puppies!

Mary Ann & Dave Rohrer

Raiser

WIALEA

We live in a house in Shoreline with a fenced yard. Our pups have go to work with us sometimes and sometimes stay at home.

When our daughter Laura was in 8th grade we raised our first pup Arabelle and are currently raising dog number seven, Wailea. We took an eight year break between Dynasty and Latifah, who graduated in December of 2021. Dave is currently pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Bothell and Mary Ann, having served as a school nurse and a birth doula is, in retirement, now coming alongside new parents as she facilitates PEPS (Program for Early Parental Support) groups who are working with the challenge of raising their human "puppies."

Mary Lou Balassone

Raiser

KUBO

I live in a condo near Puget Sound (beach walks!)

I retired in 2020 and plan to do resume traveling soon! Crafts are a passion and I try to take classes to learn new projects (paper stars for Advent was my latest). I am a quilter and also sew clothes and bags. I found GDB when my son was 14 (he is 30 now) and was interested in the process of training dogs -- in the end he did not pursue this. BUT I joined a group in Des Moines about 10 years ago and moved to the Seattle group when that one disbanded.

Mel Barstow

Raiser

WOLVERINE

Apartment in the city, planning on taking the pup to work!

I work full time at DocuSign and manage and lead tours for the UW Rowing team about the book, the Boys in the Boat. I absolutely love this puppy raising community and am immensely thankful to have found this “second family” during the very early stages of the pandemic in 2020. You all are some of the greatest blessings in my life. When not working downtown and training pups, you can find me cycling, bachata dancing, and Nordic skiing.

Melissa Petersen

Raiser

ARI, Jeremy Whalen (spouse)

Single family home in north Seattle, with a fenced backyard.

I started raising guide dog puppies in 1991. I love the deep connection between a dog and their handler. I am a speech language pathologist in an elementary school. My other hobbies include canoeing, home improvement projects, and rabble rousing.

Nick Lambert

Raiser

NATE, Becci (partner)

House, fenced yard, 9-5 work

Love the Seattle group! With my partner Becci, we've raised two dogs, Barclay and Union, and currently raising Nate! I work for T-Mobile as an engineer and I love to ride bicycles.

Teri Osborn

Raiser

CLIFF, John (husband), Kira & Madeline (daughters)

Home with a small fenced yard

I am a retired pharmaceutical research exec and now teach some at the University of Washington. I also volunteer with Page Ahead, a children's literacy organization. John and I have two adult daughters, Madeline and Kira, that love our pups when they are here for a visit. Acre was our first puppy we raised for GDB and we look forward to raising another pup. We definitely came for the puppies and stayed for the people!

Becca Dozier

Sitter

Becca (human) & Heather (pet dog)

Condo (no yard)

I’ve always loved dogs and how smart they are! I love to hike, swim, and spend time in the sunshine. My pet dog, Heather, is career changed from Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Brenda Crist

Sitter

Frank (spouse)

House, no fenced yard

I work downtown and take the train. Would be a good experience for the puppy.

Cate Overstreet & Marci High

Sitter

Cate, Marci, and Nyx

House with small fenced yard

We like nature, birds, gardens, and being in the water.

Hope Varner

Sitter

Teri Constant, Tom Varner

House

I joined the group when I was in 7th grade and have raised Funston, Lindale, and JeanLuc. I now puppysit when Im on breaks from school at University of San Diego.

Korie Voorheis

Sitter

House with fenced yard in Ballard

I'm retired now so am home much of the time. I raised a GPS puppy (Helene) about 10 years ago and wanted to help with raising these great dogs again. I enjoy being outdoors gardening and walks with friends (and pups). My young grandchildren visit regularly. They've been around lots of pets and are very good with animals so I think it will be fun for them and the pups to interact.

Laura Walker

Sitter

Apartment in the Central District

I work at Amazon as a program manager. I mainly work from home these days but occasionally go into the office and bring the pup. I started volunteering with GDB in the summer of 2020 after my beloved Beagle, Maebel, passed away. I knew I couldn't be without a dog for very long but also wasn't ready for a pet. My mom also had a black lab service dog, Tug. He inspired me to raise a puppy and change someone’s life like he did. Spending time with the puppies (and people!) after Mae passed was just what I needed. I also volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter as an adoption assistant and foster dog case manager. When not volunteering with pups, I enjoy traveling, exploring the great northwest and hanging with friends.

Matt Landers

Sitter

Jason (spouse)

Work from home in a townhouse (no yard)

I like to plan more trips than I could ever possibly take, bake pretzels, and write postcards to my 16+ nieces & nephews. I work in government relations at GSBA, Washington's LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce.

Michelle Curry & Will Sergeant

Sitter

Poppy the black cat and Juniper the mini golden!

We have a fenced yard and Michelle goes in to SLU office 0-2x week.

We’re slowly updating our new-to-us old house! We try to hike often in the summer, play tennis, and spend time paddle boarding. In the winter you’ll find Will snowboarding, Michelle XC skiing, and Juniper digging in the snow! We’re excited to puppy sit and help out with the club! We have a fenced yard and Michelle goes in to SLU office 0-2x week.

Neta Cohen & Stas Groisman

Sitter

Gal, the sassy career changed yellow Lab

Condo, mostly working from home, but Stas might take pup to work.

We like hiking, traveling and all dogs! Oh and Stas likes to take pictures of all of the above 🙄

Paul & Janet Baker

Sitter

Condo, 3rd floor near Gas Works Park

Both Janet and I are retired. My career spanned 32 years with Toyota North America. Janet is a registered nurse, having worked in the areas of public health, epidemiology and asthma and allergy. After retirement we bought a sailboat and sailed south along the Pacific coast to Mexico and Central America, then north to Glacier Bay Alaska. We’ve since sold the sailboat and purchased a Nordic Tug trawler and plan to venture north again for the next several summers. We are former pilots as well. Before boating, our interests took us to the skies. We owned a Piper Cherokee 140 for about 10 years.