Meet Megan Nystrom, Certified Guide Dog Trainer
As a baby, Megan Nystrom’s first word was dog. At five, she harnessed Gibby the collie with a leash, blindfolded her own eyes, and “trained” him in the neighborhood. Now at 25, after a rigorous, three-year apprenticeship, she’s earned the coveted title of certified guide dog trainer. It wasn’t always easy, but it’s always been her dream.
Megan earned an Animal Science degree from New Mexico State University. While researching jobs, she discovered Southeastern Guide Dogs through a YouTube video featuring our trainers singing a parody of the song “Call Me Maybe.”
The next day Megan applied for a job as a canine care technician. Six days later, much to her parents’ amazement, she boarded a plane with two duffle bags, two carry-ons, and one beagle in cargo. She knew no one, had never been to Florida, and didn’t know the area. “It was the most terrifying thing and one of the best experiences,” she says. “I would never want to do it again but I would never change it.” After working hard in the kennels, she soon advanced to the challenging apprenticeship program, finishing with honors.
As a trainer, Megan offers our students and dogs a big heart, a wealth of experience, and a lifetime of preparation.