Meet Bruce and guide dog Stew

Stew, Chocolate Lab

Stew, a chocolate Lab, smiles for the camera

Bruce and Stew | Southeastern Guide Dogs Graduate

Bruce stands next to Stew, a chocolate Labrador, in the middle of a courtyard, surrounded by palm trees. Bruce is wearing a baseball hat, a white “Anna Maria Island” t-shirt, and grey cargo shorts.

Bruce Statler’s lifetime vision loss stems from complications of premature birth and excess oxygen in the incubator. One of his favorite pets growing up was a chocolate Lab named Hershey, so when he met his guide dog for the first time, Bruce felt an immediate connection: it was a chocolate Lab. “Stew was wagging his tail; he was very affectionate and wanting to please,” Bruce says. “I was really happy to have a dog like the one I had as a kid.”

Bruce is a laid back guy who works in a quiet office providing technical support for an information technology company. He and his friends enjoy acoustic concerts and hanging out at a local pub in his hometown of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, so Stew’s easygoing personality is a perfect match.

After previous vacations on nearby Anna Maria Island, Bruce’s decision to travel south to Southeastern Guide Dogs was an easy one. And while his training was more rigorous than a Florida vacation, he’s excited about his new confidence. “Dogs give you the confidence to go more places. Everybody loves dogs, and it’s much easier to get around. I’ve definitely become more confident.”

Bruce Statler and his first guide dog, Stew, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Posted on February 9, 2017 | Category: Blog