Myra stands with her yellow Lab Chloe in front of a while picket fence. [Pictured: female wearing a blue 3/4 sleeve length shirt and white capris. She is also wearing a blue visor and white tennis shoes. A yellow Labrador sits next to her feet in a guide dog harness. They are standing in front of a white picket fence.]
Myra works with Chloe on crossing the street. [Pictured: female working with a yellow Labrador dog in a guide dog harness crosses the street. A female trainer with short brown hair, sunglasses and is wearing a Southeastern Guide Dogs uniform walks next to the guide dog team.]
When Myra Kulke was 50 years old, she lost her job after a company relocation; lost her beloved cocker spaniel of 15 years; and lost her vision. It wasn’t a good year. She’d been diagnosed with macular degeneration years earlier, but that year she could no longer see the computer. Myra pressed on, accomplished rehabilitation training, and kept finding other jobs until vision loss made things unmanageable.
“A year ago, glaucoma finished me off,” she shares. After relying on her husband and friends to navigate, Myra longed for greater freedom. She and her husband are extremely social and active in their RV community, and she doesn’t want vision loss to hold her back. “I want to be able to go out and be an active person without my husband,” she says. “I want to be independent. I want to be ME!”
She started investigating, came for a tour, and remembers the first time she felt the harness in her hand during a test walk with a dog. Her quest landed her square in the arms of her new best friend, a yellow Labrador named Chloe. “She’s made a tremendous difference in my whole world,” Myra says. “My world’s done a 180-degree turn. She’s amazing!”
Chloe was sponsored by Richard Storck, who fulfilled a graduate’s wish by naming a dog Chloe.