Category Archives: Fundraiser

Southeastern Guide Dogs

Southeastern Guide Dogs give visually-impaired an opportunity at independence and freedom

It was a beautiful sunny morning and I, naturally, gravitated toward the beautiful black lab.  Later on when we were in the park, his handler said to me, “he’s a service dog, I’m visually impaired”.  At that very moment, my interest in this beauty shifted to admiration.  Robbie’s life had completely changed when she was diagnosed with Usher’s Syndrome.  A disease which in her case, causes her to gradually lose her vision and hearing.  She wasn’t sure she wanted a service dog.  She had dogs throughout her life, but at this point in the game, she wasn’t sure she could handle the long term commitment and responsibility…then she met Spike and everything changed.  “Bonding was instant”, says Robbie “trust was a bit harder”.  Nonetheless, she knew to go with the flow of whatever led her to Southeastern Guide Dogs, a school based out of Palmetto, Florida that trains and provides the visually impaired with guide dogs.  “I couldn’t believe it when I received the call notifying me that I had been selected, they provided the guide dog, equipment, single-room lodging, all meals, outings, instruction for 26 days and post-graduation support completely free of cost”.   If that’s not impressive enough, Southeastern Guide Dogs is a non-profit organization fully supported by private donations.  Most of the staff at the school are volunteers that truly believe in the cause.

Match made in heaven
Match-making is a detailed, thoughtful process that begins with a representative actually conducting a home visit.  They look at the area where the person lives taking into account whether it’s a rural or urban location.  Lifestyle of the person is also a consideration, so that an active or sedentary person may be placed with the appropriate dog.  Additionally, trainers assess the person’s pace, pull and pressure in order to match them up with a dog that will be fitting.  According to Jennifer Bement, Public Relations Specialist at Southeastern Guide Dogs, trainers make perfect match-ups about 85% of the times on the first attempt, with only 10-15% of the times where a change in dog is required.

One of the things I was most impressed with is that Southeastern Guide Dogs not only has this amazing program of placing dogs with visually impaired people, but also they have programs for Veterans and children.  The Canine Connections program is specifically designed for visually impaired children ages 10-17 and the Paws for Patriots Program places guide dogs with blinded soldiers.  Some dogs are even trained to show empathy to help mitigate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and some will hug veterans on command when they are having a flashback or an anxiety attack.  I was so touched when I heard about this and about Robbie and Spike’s story that I had to get in touch with Southeastern Guide Dogs and spread the word about all the wonderful things they are doing to help those in need.  Please look them up at www.guidedogs.org and if you are so inclined, make a donation to benefit their cause.  Also stay tuned for fundraising events here in our local area and hats off to these wonderful dogs that make such a difference in our lives.

Rocco’s Pack @ Humane Society’s Walk for the Animals

The “pack” went out to the Humane Society’s Annual Walk for the Animals event.  There was tons of great vendors, the music was great and it was a beautiful morning to be out and about with your four legged friend.  Check out the photos and videos.

The pack goes for a walk

Proud Member of the Pet Chamber

Rocco's Core Pack
Rocco, Remo and Kole
Charity Sign
Animal Charity
Number 1 Supporter of the Pack
Number 1 Supporter of the Pack2011 Humane Society Walk for the Animals

Rescue Run

To benefit pets in need.

Rescue Run 5K with a dog: $45.00

Rescue Run 5K without a dog $25.00

Rescue Walk: $15.00

Rescue Run without dog day of race: $30.00

Register on active.com: http://www.active.com/running/sunrise-fl/rescue-run-no-paw-left-behind-2011

Contact nopawleftbehind@gmail.com for any questions.