Meet Arsenio and guide dog G.

Army veteran | Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy

Arsenio Cordero sits in a chair and hugs guide dog G. [Pictured: A goldador sits with paw on a man’s knee, and the man hugs the dog.]

Veteran Arsenio Cordero served eight years in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant and serving tours in Germany and South Korea. Next, he studied to become an X-ray technician and worked for 25 years in a New York hospital while raising three daughters, including twins.

Army veteran | Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy

Arsenio and guide dog G. work with trainer Stephanie Spence in St. Petersburg. [Pictured: a man walks with a goldador guide dog while crossing a street. A female trainer walks behind them.]

When blurry spots clouded his central vision just two years ago, Arsenio didn’t think much about it. His condition worsened, and doctors eventually diagnosed a rare condition known as Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Vision loss eventually forced him to retire early.

“At first, I became depressed,” he says. “But I got back on track and decided to overcome this disability. I’m a fighter; I keep pushing forward.” In his quest for independence, Arsenio came to Southeastern Guide Dogs and quickly bonded with an adorable yellow goldador named G. “We became like one big unit,” he says. “We’re very attached; it’s like we have the same DNA. We belong together.”

One of the things Arsenio enjoys with G. is allowing his wife more freedom, too. “G. gives my wife a little break,” he says. “He will take me places. I’ll take care of him and he’ll take care of me, and she can sit back and watch.”

Note: Guide dog G. was sponsored and named by John and Kris London in memory of a professional dog trainer and K-9 officer, Anthony Gianquinta, who was nicknamed “G.”

Posted on September 28, 2017 | Category: Blog, Graduates