Meet Class #272

Class 272 poses on a side walk with their guide dogs. The group consists of 4 women and 4 men. There is 1 golden retreiver, 3 black Labradors, and 4 yellow Labradors. There are also three female trainers and one male trainer pictured.

Pictured left to right: Trainer Karen Mersereau, Katie Hearn and guide Jack, Sara Gamble and guide Markel, Terri Smith and guide Jacket, Trainer Lynn Benus, Suzy Wilson and guide Betty, Simon Bovinett and guide Rosie, Trainer Jennifer Johnson, Joe Reiling and guide Brooklyn, Bob Boehner and guide Chandler, Trainer Tony True, Tim Jamar and guide Andi

Congratulations Class #272!

Today we celebrate the commencement of Class #272. As the newest members of our alumni community, these graduating students and their guide dogs join the inspiring legacy of handlers and loyal dogs who came before them. Today begins their exciting, courageous journey together and we wish them well. Congratulations, Class #272.

Here’s a look at the fearless and optimistic individuals of Class #272.

Katie Hearn’s vision continued to narrow despite surgery to save it, but her optimism never narrowed. Katie, who works for the Atlanta Braves, is ready to make a Braves fan out of her new guide dog, Jack, a curious and affectionate yellow Labrador. These two have many adventures ahead of them.

Growing up, Sara Gamble needed strong glasses—really strong—but that didn’t stop her from playing sports throughout high school and then enlisting in the U.S. Army. Despite being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, she has no plans to slow down with a lovable black Lab named Markel leading the way.

Terri Smith was busy running her business and raising her daughter when she lost her vision. But everything is about to change now that a “lovey-dovey” yellow Lab named Jacket came into Terri’s life.

Suzy Wilson is excited to have Betty, a sweet and playful yellow Labrador, by her side. Suzy was born with only 10 percent vision in her left eye and none in her right, so having Betty provides Suzy with a sense of independence.

Four years ago, Simon Bovinett lost his vision. Now he’s headed home with an affectionate, playful yellow Lab named Rosie, his first guide dog. Now Simon has big plans to venture out into the world on his own with Rosie.

Joseph Reiling is experiencing a lot of firsts. His wife is expecting their first child in June, and now he has Brooklyn, his first-ever guide dog. Joseph looks forward to all the places Brooklyn can take him, and first on his list is Disney World with his wife.

Bob Boehner received his first guide dog when he was 14 years old and has always had a guide. He recently spent about a year without a guide dog and admitted it was tough. But now he’s got a new partner in Chandler, an easygoing and eager-to-please Labrador.

Tim Jamar’s poor vision started in high school. Despite having surgery, his vision deteriorated and now he can see only shapes and silhouettes. With Andi, a beautiful, hardworking black Lab and his first guide dog, Tim’s frustration from using a cane is a thing of the past.

Congratulations on all of your hard work, Class #272. Welcome to the Southeastern Guide Dogs family!


Did you miss our live stream of today’s graduation? Don’t worry! You can still view it here later today. Congratulations Class #272 on your hard work and we can’t wait to see your progress.

Posted on November 15, 2018 | Category: Blog