Sarasota News Leader

03/21/2014

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I must have sensed that if I worked and vol- unteered at enough venues, which I always have enjoyed doing, I would eventually find my true passion. And I have achieved my goal at the Southeastern Guide Dogs shop in downtown Sarasota. The No. 1 reason is obvious: We get to share our love for dogs and give our canine visi- tors many hugs and kisses. However, since the primary goal of Southeastern Guide Dogs is to train the dogs to be ready and qualified to go home with their "handlers," when the students and dogs are in class in the store, we are not allowed to touch or disturb them. These magnificent animals are schooled to help vision-impaired people, especially when it comes to navigating out in public. The secondary goal at the store is to tempt our visitors with an incredible variety of dog foods, treats and gifts to help support the pro- gram. It is very easy to enter the shop and then spend an hour just wandering around and deciding how many goodies to buy for canine pets. I gained first-hand knowledge of the program's many elements when I visited the campus in Palmetto. This came thanks to a tour that left the downtown store every Tuesday, running from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A Harriet Cuthbert poses in front of a map of the Southeastern Guide Dog campus in Palmetto. Photo by Rachel Hackney IF YOU ADORE CANINES, SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS HAS MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU PUPPY LOVE By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer

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