Michael Jernigan & Judy Bordignon, Southeast Guide Dogs’ Paws For Patriots

Mike & Brittani Nov 2012

Michael Jernigan & Judy Bordignon–staff members at Southeastern Guide Dogs; she’s the trainer for Veteran Service Dogs And Facility Therapy Dogs, he’s the Community Outreach Coordinator–discuss how the Palmetto, Florida based facility launched its Paws For Patriots program to serve veterans. Jernigan, who helped create the program, describes how Southeastern initially expanded its fundamental service of providing guide dogs to people with visual impairments (something it’s been doing since 1982) to veterans. He also explains how Paws For Judy_Bordignon_Nov_2011_[1]-1Patriots evolved to include veteran service dogs, which are paired with veterans experiencing symptoms of PTSD. These are dogs who’ve come through Southeastern’s training for guide dogs, but may have not been cut out for those specific duties of that job and have received additional training, Bordignon explains, through a curriculum she developed geared for the needs of those veterans,
who may find it highly challenging to be amongst crowds in supermarkets, restaurants and elsewhere, or have people get too close too fast, approach from behind, etc. The conversation also touches on the length and cost of the training, and how those who are paired with a guide dog or veteran service dog from Southeastern do not bear that expense, or any other cost. (www.GuideDogs.org, www.Facebook.com/Southeastern-Guide-Dogs)

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COMEDY CORNER: Jerry Seinfeld’s “Horses” (part one)  (www.JerrySeinfeld.com)

MUSIC: Neko Case’s “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” eels’ “Dog Faced Boy (alternate version),” instrumentals  

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  Steely Dan’s “Monkey In Your Soul”
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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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