Meet Gwen and guide dog Orban
When Gwen Givens was an infant, she lost her vision from retinopathy of prematurity. Before her first guide, Mia, she never intended to get a guide dog, but came for a campus tour at the invitation of a friend.
When asked if she’d like to apply for a dog, she responded with an impulsive “yes!” And she has never regretted that decision.
When Gwen returned to Southeastern Guide Dogs for her second guide dog, Orban, it broke her heart to leave her ailing guide dog, Mia, behind. When Mia passed away while Gwen was still in class with Orban, Gwen grieved her loss and felt distracted from her training.
When she was invited to come on campus for a refresher session, Gwen looked forward to brushing up on her skills and fine-tuning Orban’s habits. “He’s like a teenager—he’s full of life, full of fun, and he adores people,” she shares. “He’s a social butterfly and he’s always happy!”
“Things have a way of working out,” she says. “Dogs are G-O-D spelled backwards!” Now Gwen can’t imagine life without the independence and unconditional love she’s gained from her dogs.