Meet Patrick and service dog Clifford

Patrick Graham and Clifford | Air Force Veteran | Clifford the big red dog

Patrick sits in a chair at the mall and Clifford performs the “hug” command.

Patrick and Clifford pose for a photo on a bridge. | Air Force Veteran | Clifford the big red dog

Patrick and Clifford pose for a photo on a bridge.

Patrick Graham and service dog Clifford

Oakland Park, Florida

Patrick Graham volunteered as a puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs and is proud that his puppy, Lucian, became a guide dog. He also had an emotional support dog that passed away about a year before he decided to apply for a service dog.

Enter Clifford, a golden retriever with a bright, red coat almost the same color as Patrick’s hair. Clifford, a “big red dog,” is a “fun, goofy and happy” addition to his handler’s life. “He makes me smile and it took only about a day for me to be comfortable with him and really attached,” says Patrick. He anticipated the match for months but the 12-day stay on campus worried the Air Force intelligence analyst who served in the Central Asia Region. “It’s been great, though,” Patrick says. “From the staff to the accommodations to the people I’ve met and everything we get to do. It’s all been a great experience.”

Patrick grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, and looks forward to taking Clifford out on his boat, as well as hiking. A construction project manager and urban planner for Broward County, he knows that Clifford will help absorb job anxiety and cheer him up with hugs and cuddles. “I’m anticipating having a life, moving forward with a smile, and having a little more optimism.”

Posted on August 22, 2018 | Category: Blog, Graduates, Our Dogs, Puppy Raisers