Meet Marsha and guide dog Boomer Clyde
Diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease at age eight, Marsha Skinner’s vision loss worsens as she gets older, leaving her with limited central vision, limited color vision, and very poor depth perception. In her job as an itinerant vision teacher specializing in Braille instruction, she travels between three schools teaching blind and visually impaired children for the Forsyth County School District in her hometown of Cumming, Georgia.
Marsha and her husband raised five children, including a set of twins, and she now helps care for her elderly parents. It was her 92-year-old father who drove her between work locations, but since he stopped driving she needed an alternative. She decided that a guide dog was the solution to navigating the busy streets that separated the schools.
Despite concerns about being away from her family for 26 days, Marsha came to Southeastern Guide Dogs to meet a focused, intelligent black Labrador named Boomer Clyde, her first guide dog. What a difference Boom Clyde makes!
“Boomer Clyde is kind of a serious dog. He’s focused. He wants to get to work and do what he’s supposed to do, and then he likes to rest and play after,” Marsha said. “When he gives you his love, you feel so special…when he rolls over on his belly or wags his tail. He’s very smart. He’s given me a lot of confidence. I was very nervous, the first day I got him. I was really relieved to see how consistent he was.”
“I just feel happier and not as tense when I’m walking,” she said. “Because without him, I was always trying to look and see what’s going on. Now I feel freer and not worried when I’m walking.”