Meet Paul and guide dog Maria
When Paul Monette’s first guide dog passed away in 2014, the retired social worker was too ill to think of a replacement dog. But once a blocked artery in his heart was repaired, Paul began to have more energy and stamina and started researching guide dog schools. Now, he is delighted to have found Southeastern Guide Dogs and a “sweet, caring go-getter” named Maria—a yellow goldador who can be “goofy and playful” but also “pays attention to everything.” Paul says Maria is “a perfect dog!”
This Vietnam veteran spent four years in the Air Force, surviving a tour in Vietnam during the peak of the war. A 1989 car accident caused Paul to lose sight in his right eye and severely damaged the optic nerve in his left, leaving him with only tunnel vision. Head trauma meant a three-month hospital stay for the former tractor trailer driver, plus he says, “I was done driving a truck. In fact, I was done driving at all.” After learning mobility and occupational skills, Paul attended college and earned his degree in social work. “Maria will give me independence and better mobility when I take buses, subways, and commuter rail all over the greater Boston area,” he says.