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Southeastern Guide Dogs

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Near the start of the school year, the University of South Florida held a volunteer fair in the Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus.

While dozens of different clubs and organizations used whatever methods they could to get students’ attention, all four furry members of the Puppy Raisers Club had to do was sit there and wag their tails.

Local Organization Prepares Dogs For The Working World

May 17, 2017
Courtesy of Anthony Loffler

There are four-legged residents of the Tampa Bay area who stand out in public because of their harnesses and vests. Some are working guide dogs, others are guide dogs in training.

Southeastern Guide Dogs, a charitable organization in Palmetto, has spent decades preparing canines for the working world. 

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

This is a story of two dogs serving their country’s veterans through the Southeastern Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots program.

There’s the “old girl” Brittani who has eased into retirement and the youngster Zak just graduated from “boot camp” still filled with puppy exuberance.

Brittani is a Goldador, a mix of Labrador and Golden Retriever, and was the longtime companion of Michael Jernigan of St. Petersburg, a Marine wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004.