These guide dogs help people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children facing tough challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 30, 2021

Attention, dog lovers! A group of dedicated individuals and a very adorable canine class just graduated from Southeastern Guide Dogs — a nonprofit that provides guide dogs for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with vision loss or who have lost a parent in the military — based in Palmetto, Florida.

Per a blog post documenting the dogs and their owners, six dogs and the students of Guide Dog Class 298 completed three weeks of training so they could prepare themselves for their new lives together. "Six unique students overcame significant obstacles to become part of the graduating class that recently completed their training. Four met with their first-ever guide dogs, while two returning students matched with successor dogs," the post begins. "All were thrilled with the tight bonds they formed during three weeks of training. Now, they look forward to a bright future beside their new best friends."

Bob Newport and Guide Dog Igor III
Credit: Southeastern Guide Dogs

Take Bob Newport, an Air Force veteran who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), which causes serious damage to the retinas, and his yellow Lab, Igor III, pictured above. It's clear what a meaningful impact this sweet pup will have on Newport's daily life, providing him not only with companionship but helping him navigate daily tasks that are difficult due to his vision loss. "I won't be tripping over things and running into people," Bob said in the post. "And Igor will be great company."

Credit: Southeastern Guide Dogs

You can read the touching stories of all six humans and their guide dogs here. Dogs really are man's best friend, huh? For more incredible stories about pets in our region of the country, check out South's Best Pets 2021.

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We hope these dogs and their owners are adjusting well to their lives together. Guide Dog Class 299, we trust you're up for the adventure that's in store for you.