Meet Mackenzie and guide dog John

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Mackenzie Newman & guide dog John

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Mackenzie Newman and John-min

Mackenzie stands with her guide dog, John under a gazebo with flowers.

Lots of people are waiting to meet John, Mackenzie Newman’s first guide dog, including her grandfather, who is also named John, her parents and siblings, her physical and occupational therapists, and the family dog, a Jack Russel terrier named Virginia. “I want to get pictures of Virginia and John together,” Mackenzie says as she scrolls through her growing number of photos of her sweet, yellow Labrador.

Mackenzie was born prematurely and has spastic cerebral palsy, which she explains is basically a muscle spasm that never relaxes. She also has hydrocephalus and cortical visual impairment. She has a twin who doesn’t have any health issues, and doctors once told their parents that Mackenzie wasn’t likely to live.

But this fighter proved them wrong, and now she’s 19, getting ready to apply for college, and hopes to become a pediatric physician. “I’ve been through so much,” she says. “I understand, and I want to help. I have PTSD from so many surgeries, and I don’t sleep well.”

During Mackenzie’s first night with John in her room, he woke her up from a bad dream by rattling his crate. “I woke up and went to his kennel, and he put his paw out,” she says. “He’s so wonderful! I’m getting sleep, I’m feeling free and independent, and I have a companion. He’s just a blessing.”

John is sponsored and named by the Trailer Estates Walkathon Team thanks to their 2016 Walkathon fundraising efforts.

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

Posted on April 24, 2019 | Category: Blog