PALMETTO, Fla. (FOX 13) - Southeastern Guide Dogs trains the fluffy companions to be superheroes, and they are having a big walkathon this weekend to help support their mission.
Puppy raisers take the puppies and give them a natural home environment, but when they get a little older, the training begins. They undergo an assessment to determine their career path, such as becoming a guide dog, service dog, and so on.
“We really let the dog tell us what they want to do,” explained Merissa with Southeastern Guide Dogs. “We want to make sure they are happy at what they are doing.”
They also need to make sure the dog is in shape and has high stamina. The dogs enter a two-year program where training occurs in the real world, and their training is specific to their career path. The humans who need one of the dogs must also undergo some training.
Both humans and dogs are always hard at work at Southeastern Guide Dogs, and they can use your help. The Tampa Walkathon will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Al Lopez Park, which is located at 4810 North Himes Avenue. It’s a free, family-friendly event, which includes a 3K walk, live mustic, food trucks, a beer garden and more.
“Bring lots of dogs because we’re going for a world record! Help us break a world record for the most dogs wearing a bandana at a single event. You provide the dogs, we’ll provide the bandanas!” according to a post on the event’s Facebook page.
For more information on the Southeastern Guide Dogs, head over to their website.