Meet Darlene and guide dog Lee

Division of Blind Services | Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling

Darlene kneels with Lee, a yellow Labrador in a guide dog harness.

Darlene Sellars & Guide Dog Lee

Lakeland, Florida

Darlene Sellars doesn’t remember the car accident that night during her senior year of high school. She was on a date, her boyfriend was driving, and she woke up totally blind. “I had 20/20 vision until age 17,” she said. “Having grown up a sighted person, I never imagined living life without vision.”

Darlene received her first guide dog at age 19, and recently met her sixth guide, a sensitive, sweet yellow Labrador named Lee. Her previous guides include Wendy, Ivory, Petey, Artie, and Maggie. Darlene credits Southeastern Guide Dogs for helping her achieve three college degrees, including a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a successful career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Division of Blind Services in Lakeland.

“Getting a guide dog has been life changing for me,” she said. “Sometimes I forget that I cannot see. Having a guide dog makes so many more things possible. My dog really increases my confidence level, and I feel enabled instead of disabled.”

Darlene recently moved to a new neighborhood and she can’t wait to travel more in her new area near Lake Hollingsworth. “I’m gaining that freedom back,” she said. “I’m so excited to be able to function independently with my dog.”

Do you know anyone that could use a guide dog? Encourage them to apply today.

Posted on February 25, 2019 | Category: Blog, Graduates, Our Dogs