Congratulations Class #289

Service Dog Class #289 graduates today, and these three veterans represent the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. With a combined service of more than 30 years, they represent a level of unrelenting strength and courage that is impossible to quantify.

Paired with their new service dogs, we are encouraged by how these individuals challenged themselves to pursue the lives they deserve: lives filled with freedom, hope, and a new best friend. In this video, they reflect back on their time with us. 

Read more about the determined and successful service dog teams of Class #289.

three graduates stand with their new dogs, the trainers stand with them.

Teresa and service dog Scott, trainer Anne Savo, Marc and service dog Scooter,
trainer Laska Parrow, and Mike and service dog Ryan. 

  • Teresa, an Army veteran, didn’t know that service dogs existed for people with post-traumatic stress disorder until her counselor at the VA suggested she might do well with one. Teresa hoped for a dog that could sense her needs and read her body language. Her new service dog, Scott, does that and more. Alert and calm, Scott lets Teresa know when someone approaches from behind, which feels reassuring. With Scott’s help, Teresa looks forward to getting out more.
  • As a Navy veteran, Marc spent 20 years traveling around the globe serving on both shore and sea duty, including six deployments. He retired in 2015 and took a year off to transition into civilian life. Marc admits that change wasn’t easy. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression all found their way into his life. Going out is something Marc enjoys, but living on high-alert feels exhausting. But now he has a new best friend in an easygoing, smart service dog named Scooter. With Scooter by his side, Marc looks forward to their relaxing and enjoyable adventures together.
  • For nine years, Marine veteran Mike lived just 12 minutes from Southeastern Guide Dogs—but didn’t know about our service dog program until a chance meeting with one of our dogs. One particularly anxious day at a grocery store, he encountered volunteer Anne Brown with her dog Bekker. “The dog picked up on my anxiety,” Mike says. “All I could think about was petting that dog.” After 17 years of struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, Mike now has Ryan, an affectionate, energetic service dog with a playful personality that brings an extraordinary level of comfort to Mike’s life. 

Class 289, we congratulate you on your hard work.

Welcome to the Southeastern Guide Dogs family!

Posted on June 23, 2020 | Category: Blog