Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
October 7, 2012
After retiring from my job as a professor of Public Health Nursing, followed by 5 years as a full-timer in a motor home, I found my days a bit empty. By chance, I learned that a college classmate did some volunteer work with an organization that trains dogs to become guides for visually impaired people. Animals are the passion of my life and dogs rank at the top of my list, so I immediately got in touch with Southeastern Guide Dogs and became a volunteer. I started out playing with adorable puppies ranging in age from 6 to 9 weeks. Soon I wanted to become a puppy raiser. After the necessary criteria were met, I was thrilled to be allowed to take home and help train a beautiful Goldador. When he did not make it as a guide dog due to a mild medical issue, I was offered the opportunity of keeping him and getting him trained as a therapy dog and Ambassador for the school. Natually I was eager to take on this privilege. I still volunteer in the puppy kennel, showing visitors how to behave and play with the irrisistible puppies. Now my dog & I also visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes. What joy it brings to these people--maybe almost as much as it brings to me when I see their faces light up. Another wonderful opportunity I have as part of a therapy team is going into a school where third graders get to read to dogs. Data collected around the US shows that this program does help children improve their reading skills. I'm very happy to know that I'm doing some good while I have an enormous amount of fun!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Hearing blind or visually impaired people describe the difference in their lives after becoming a partner with a guide dog.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
I once had an amazing experience while observing a woman who always became hysterical when her blood was about to be drawn. In this instance she was caressing my dog when the phlebotomist started to insert the needle, and she showed no signs of fear nor gave any objection. It was as if she didn't even notice the needle.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
Volunteer & Bathed puppies, cleaned up after them, disseminated informationn about the organization to the public, took my dog to the bedside of hospitalized patients and to chair-bound folks in nursing homes, interacted with children who read to my dog.