Meet Marty and guide dog Enrico
Blind since his premature birth after excess incubator oxygen damaged his optic nerve, Marty McLeod perceives a hint of light but nothing more. Several years ago he received his first Southeastern Guide Dog, Roderick, followed by Dodger. After Dodger retired, Marty returned to campus for his third guide, Enrico.
“I have the perfect dog,” Marty texted to his wife and teenage daughter after meeting this relaxed, laid-back yellow Labrador. Despite Enrico’s calm demeanor, he’s very precise when working and Marty is impressed with his skills.
Marty and his wife, Cathy, are ordained United Methodist ministers who co-pastor their church in Jesup, Georgia. So when the trainers were selecting Marty’s perfect match, they chose a dog that works well and then loves to settle quickly and nap, an ideal trait for not distracting a congregation. Marty appreciates how Enrico and his previous dogs help him walk at a natural pace, unlike the slow, methodical steps he experiences with cane travel. And he enjoys having the freedom to navigate on his own, enjoying “unexpected adventures” with his dog.