A Song of Courage: Ewa & guide dog King
Ewa Nowakowski and guide dog King
Ewa Nowakowski is a spirited and gifted opera singer who often hid her deteriorating eye condition from retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt’s disease. Until she became famous in a TV voice competition in her native Poland, Ewa says that access rights for service dogs were limited. The notoriety of her first dog, Clemant, helped to change the laws for the entire country.
Ewa moved to New York six years ago with Clemant, until he retired three years ago. She returned him to her native Poland so Clemant could retire with her mom. Navigating New York without her guide was a challenge. “Walking with a cane, I almost fell down the steep steps of the subway,” Ewa says. “I understood it was time to apply for another dog…without a dog I am just lost.”
Friends introduced Ewa to Southeastern Guide Dogs when she performed a concert at a local church. After Clemant passed away, she applied and now that she has been paired with a “handsome, loving and goofy” black Labrador named King, the mother of a 3-year-old son looks forward to traveling to sing again. Her husband, Derek, an artistic painter, guitarist, and songwriter, is often in New York for work, and now Ewa can join him. “My son makes me proud,” she pronounces. “But King makes me be me.”