Five fun questions to get to know Danelle Umstead

Danelle Umstead

Do you have pets?

Bettylynn, a black Labrador retriever, was my first-ever Seeing Eye dog (guide dog). She and I were paired up in 2008. She traveled all over the world with us. Bettylynn was the first-ever Seeing Eye dog to represent USA in the Winter Games. She attended the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver. She even got a head shot in the Olympic and Paralympic book. She always took good care of me. She has a fun lively spirit. In 2013, she had to retire from being my Seeing Eye dog. Ironically she went blind in one eye. Yup!!! That’s right!!! The blind leading the blind. Haha. She has been retired and stays home with our son Brocton. When I first got her as a guide dog it was because I wanted her to help me with my baby boy… she is still doing that. She loves retired life at home.

Aziza, yellow Labrador retriever. She is my current Seeing Eye dog. Aziza was the second guide dog to represent USA in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. She too has a head shot in the Olympic/Paralympic book. I never thought I could trust or depend on another dog like I did Bettylynn. Aziza is the most loving and caring soul. She loves me and protects me on and off the harness. Aziza is always making sure I am ok. I love her spirit and she wants nothing more than to be with me….and of course get dog treats.

How do you work to achieve your daily goals?

Have a plan and stick to it.

Is there anything you do for training that’s out of the ordinary or experimental?

Ski on indoor carpet, and use my outdoors as a gym. Meaning I dig big holes for trees, move rock in wheel barrels, etc. 

What is your earliest or favorite memory of watching the Olympics/Paralympics?

My favorite Olympics: Lindsey Vonn winning gold in Vancouver.

What are your favorite movies?

“The Notebook,” “The Way of a Peaceful Warrior,” “Home,” “Better Off Dead,” and “Drop Dead Fred.”


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