Meet Debbie and guide dog Speeler
Debbie Hall was driving home from work one afternoon when the road in front of her just disappeared. “It was frightening,” she says. “I knew then that I wouldn’t be driving anymore.” The diagnosis was retinitis pigmentosa, and it was her eye doctor at the University of South Florida who told her it was time to get a dog. “I didn’t want to admit that I needed a dog, but I had to do something.”
In 2011 when Debbie came for her first guide, a sleek black goldador named Speeler, she still had some sight left. But after losing her remaining vision, she was returned for a refresher course. “It was very frightening,” she says of the adjustment. “He’s a very good guide; but I needed to learn again.”
Debbie smiles when describing Speeler’s mischievous attitude, but meanwhile their teamwork is strong and their skills are getting stronger. Back home in Zephyrhills, Debbie enjoys taking Speeler to a local park with her husband of 39 years and her four granddaughters.