Meet Class #271

Class 271 poses on a side walk with their guide dogs. The group consists of 6 women and 3 men. There is 1 black Labrador, 7 yellow Labradors, and a Golden Retreiver. There are also three female trainers pictured.

Pictured left to right: trainer Katie Perez, Angelina and guide Gordy, Vernon and guide Rubicon, DeeDee and guide Wrigley, Brandie and guide Eula, trainer Karin Watson, Alane and guide Earl Farnsworth, Pascal and guide Sammy, Chad and guide Henry, Laura and guide Howie, trainer Megan Nystrom, Mackenzie and guide John

Congratulations Class #271!

Southeastern Guide Dogs has a lot to celebrate today—the commencement of Class #271. Each graduate and their guide dog gave their best every day, and now they’re ready to embark on an exciting adventure together. A new world of freedom and confidence is open to each of these graduates, and we congratulate them on their hard work. Welcome to the Southeastern Guide Dogs family, Class #271.

Continue reading below to find out more about the fearless and optimistic individuals of Class #271.

Angie Lopez and her guide dog, Gordy, a loveable black Labrador, are perfectly matched to have a lot of fun together. Gordy slows his pace for Angie and expertly guides her around obstacles, and she is happy to put down her cane and give her trust to him.

Vernon Richmond found a willing partner in his guide dog, Rubicon. This intelligent and gentle yellow Labrador will help guide Vernon when he travels for the many organizations supporting the visually impaired that he belongs to. And when he’s at home, Rubicon will give Vernon the freedom to get out and explore his neighborhood.

As a mom of three college-age kids with a new empty nest, guide dog Wrigley came along at just the right time for DeeDee Haddad. “I’m an independent person,” she says. “I refuse to let vision loss stop me!”

As a busy mom of three who handles the scheduling, phone calls, and bookkeeping for the family business, Brandie Hall can now travel with ease with help from Eula, her calm yellow Lab and first guide dog.

Alane Lichtenstrahl is determined not to be housebound, despite lack of public transportation. That’s where her happy, hardworking guide dog Earl Farnsworth comes in. “I want to be able to say, I’m not staying in my house today!” she says. “I’m looking forward to literally being free!”

Pascal Lambert spent six years living overseas with his family where the rules for assistance animals were so varied that it made it nearly impossible for him to get a guide dog. Now that he’s settled in Tennessee, having his first guide dog, Sammy, by his side means that more amazing adventures await him.

As a church pastor, Chad Bagley is accustomed to being a leader. Unexpected vision loss meant depending on others, but now his fun-loving guide dog Henry means this busy father of three regains his independence.

Laura is excited to take walks around her neighborhood with her new guide dog, Howie, by her side. Smart and relaxed, this sweet yellow Labrador is well-suited to be there for Laura and provide her with greater independence.

Mackenzie Newman happily folded up her cane and put it in her backpack for emergency use only. Now that she has her first guide dog, John, a spirited and intelligent yellow Labrador, she is ready to start college and enjoy greater freedom and independence.

Congratulations on all of your hard work, Class #271. 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. Congratulations Class #271 on your hard work and we can’t wait to see your progress.

Posted on October 11, 2018 | Category: Blog, Graduates, Our Dogs