Hello! My name is Jamie Mattison and I am a Qualified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor working at the GDB Oregon campus. I grew up in Wisconsin where I raised pigs and showed llamas for the county fair, as well as worked at a horse stable and dairy farm. I’ve lived in several other areas of the country including Massachusetts, California, and Oregon. My degrees are in Biology from Amherst College and Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College. Before coming to GDB, I worked with large carnivores, hoofstock, parrots, birds of prey, and even a lemur!
I learned about GDB through an internship and knew I wanted to be a part of connecting these incredible dogs with their wonderful human partners. I love all aspects of my job but I most look forward to being able to travel again, working with our guide dog teams in their home areas. Currently, I am mentoring an apprentice instructor.
I live with my fiancé (who is also a GDMI) plus our two career change Labs, Shimmer and Opa, one retired guide dog, Lila, and a cat named Brioche. My adopted retired guide dog is a Black Lab that I trained in the very first string of my apprenticeship over five years ago. All of our dogs play a relay sport called flyball that involves hurdling jumps and retrieving a tennis ball. There are several career change guide dogs and other breeds on our team. Even the cat knows some flyball basics! The dogs also join us on hikes and camping in Mt. Hood National Forest. Downtime includes yarn crafts, photographing Lila, and taste-testing my partner’s cooking experiments.
Jamie will be taking over our GDB Social Media accounts on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. See more of what her days look like and get behind the scenes access to a day in the life of a Guide Dogs for the Blind Qualified Instructor. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to tune in!