Member Spotlight: Southeastern Guide Dogs
Interview with Trish Gorry
Q: Tell me about what problem this program/service solves?
A: SEGD provides service dogs for people who cannot see and for veterans who have seen too much.
Q: Can you tell me about a specific person who has used this program?
A: My friend Richie Jacobs is a guide dog recipient.
Q: Now that they have gone through this program, what is their life like?
A: His life is so much brighter and he feels more confident and happy with Debbie, his guide dog, in his life. Richie’s wife, Kim, is also so grateful for the services Debbie provides him.
Q: What attracted you to this cause?
A: My nature and personality has always been to help someone through SEGD in fulfilling this journey.
Q: How has this changed you personally?
A: Personally it has changed me by seeing the difference these beautiful, loving dogs give people and along the way we benefit from their love as well. They are very, very forgiving and we as puppy raisers give them their “head start”. They change lives, including ours. Everyone says, “But how can you give them up?” We say, “How could we not?” They give HOPE.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you are facing?
A: The challenge we are facing now is we need puppy raisers.
Q: What do you think other people should know about this organization?
A: What I think others should know is that all the services that SEGD provide is free of charge to the student/veteran—food, vet bills, and they get support 24/7 from the wonderful instructors and liaisons from there.
Q: What goals do you have for the organization?
A: My goal as a puppy recruiter is to get the word out and and recruit puppy raisers from all types of different households, younger, older, college students, technical schools—how would that look on a resume? “Raised a guide dog.”
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
A: I would like everyone to know that you don’t need to be a professional dog trainer to do this. You need love and a passion to pay it forward. It is a wonderful feeling when you witness this little pup grow into the life changing dog that is so needed by so many.
About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. We breed, raise, and train elite guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs and provide life-changing services at no cost to the recipients. For the past 40 years, we have successfully created thousands of guide dog and service dog teams throughout the United States and currently oversee the well-being of more than 1,200 puppies and dogs.