Meet Terrence and guide dog Joe
Terrence Boyle & Guide Dog Joe
At a bar in Cedar Key, Florida called The Black Dog, owned by Terrence Boyle’s son, TJ, customers were talking about Southeastern Guide Dogs. “TJ said, ‘Dad, I want you to think about getting a service dog; you really need to do it,’” Terrence says, and now his own black dog, a confident, exuberant Labrador named Joe stands by his side.
Terrence’s vision loss mystified doctors in the 90s, but despite the lack of a good diagnosis, the loss continued slowly. Doctors now diagnose it as cone rod dystrophy. A medical technologist with a talent for chemistry, Terrence worked for nearly 30 years in microbiology and chemistry at the local hospital before being pressured into retirement because of his vision.
When his beloved 17-year-old pet dog passed away, Terrence grieved the loss and wasn’t sure he was ready for another dog. He also worried about leaving home for what he expected to be a “Spartan existence” on our campus. Our campus awed him and his family, however, and his wife dropped him off feeling reassured. And when he met Joe, Terrence was convinced he’d made the right decision.
With Joe by his side, Terrence knows he’ll feel safe walking around town. “This opens up my neighborhood and downtown to me,” he says, “and I’ll do a little exploring on my own.”