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ItsimpossibletocalculatethenumberolivesthatSoutheasternhasimprovedorevensavedbutherearesomeactoidsthatillustratethescopeotheirphilanthropiceortsEachoneothesedogscostsroughly60000toproducetheirtrainingisasophisticatedtwo-yearprocessthatre-quirestheexertionsotrainersscientistsmedicalstacaretakersandvolunteersapplicantstobecomehandlerswhocomeromall48contiguousstatesarethor-oughlyscreenedbyadmissionsofcersandthosewhoareapprovedareassistedbyamatchmakingservicethatincludesindividualin-housevisitstodeterminewhatkindodogwouldbestttheirlie-styletemperamentandphysicalneedsthesestudenthandlersthencometothecampusinPalmettoora26-daytrainingcoursewiththedogwhohasbeenspeci-callymatchedtothemandiagraduatehandlerhasaproblemoanykindwithaguidedogsomeoneromSoutheasternwillyouttotheirhomeandhelpbothdogandhandlerworkthroughit.TecosttothedogshandlerorallothiscareandtrainingAmind-bogglingzerodollars.Happilywithnearly25millionintotalassetsSoutheasternGuideDogscanaordit.Butastonishinglythatmoneyhasbeenaccruednotbyanykindogrant-writingorgovernmentalaidbutentirelybydonations.TesecrettotheirundraisingSilver-mansaysisthatpeopleliketodonatetoprogramsthatarenanciallysolidandthataccomplishrealandtangiblesuccess.Wellthathesaysandthis.Tenheholdsupabrochurewithapic-tureoabeaticgoldenretrieverpuppy.AndSilvermanisnotkidding.Tesedogsaresoirresistiblethatsometimesjustanimageooneissufcienttopryundslooseromdonorswhowerenteventhinkingaboutdonating.AewyearsagoSoutheasternGuideDogsisthebrainchildofDr.HarrisSilvermanandRobertMillerwhoco-oundedthenonprotin1982.Sincethentheorgani-zationhasmatchedmorethan2800dogswithvisuallyimpairedhandlersbringingthemreedommobilityanddignitytheycouldotherwiseneverhaveknown.Andstartingin2006itsPawsorPatriotsinitiativehasplacedservicedogswithveteranswithvisualimpairmentsorPSDandbroughtdogstohelpveteransinmilitarybasesandhospitalssuchasWalterReedQuanticoandCampLejeune.Eachdogcostsabout60000toproduceandtheirtrainingisasophisticatedtwo-yearprocessthatrequirestheexertionsoftrainersscientistsmedicalstaffcaretakersandvolunteers.PhotosbyJenniferVare