GDUI Announcement – Jan 9th 2017

GDUI Announcement – Jan 9th 2017

[GDUI-Announce] Announcement, January 9, 2017


Dear GDUI Members and Friends,

There are just a couple of announcements this week. We want to let you

know that the date for our Next GDUI Board Meeting  has changed. The

new meeting date is Saturday, January 28, 2017. We hope you will

attend our meeting which will begin at 1:00 p.m. Call 712.432.0075,

and dial the Code: 919245-Pound. All GDUI members and friends are

welcomed guests at our meeting, and there’s always an opportunity for

you to ask questions or share information and comments at the close of

each meeting.


Weather-related news reflects the difficulties that so often arise in

January for all of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere. Right now

there are floods in Northern California and Nevada, blizzard

conditions in the Midwest and New England, and snow and sleet and ice

all over the South. Remember, if you need help affording care for your

working guide dog as a result of an emergency, GDUI’s Disaster

Assistance and Preparedness Program (called the DAPP) is here for you.

Will Burley chairs the DAPP Committee, and you can call GDUI’s

toll-free number to get in contact with Will, 866.799.8436. Also, find

information about the DAPP on the home page of our web site:


PawTracks is coming! We know you’ve been waiting for the Fall/Winter

issue of PawTracks a little longer than usual. An accumulation of

unfortunate events has plagued Nolan’s production of this issue, but

he is optimistic that he will be sending the magazine’s sound files to

Ray Fournier for file conversion to the audiocassette format for those

of you who still receive our publication in that medium, and to Dixie

Sanderson, who will be sharing the MP3 files via e-mail and

attachment, hopefully, by the end of the week end. Remember, if you

have an idea or an article or a poem or a letter to the editor to

contribute to PawTracks, just send e-mail to Nolan with “PawTracks” in

the subject line. He will be pleased to accept your contributions.

E-Mail Nolan at:   .


Joining GDUI: If you haven’t yet renewed your membership, or if you’ve

been thinking about joining us as a much valued new or returning

member, now is the perfect time! If you have been struggling with an

advocacy issue, or if you could use some advice from experienced guide

dog users, GDUI is here for you! Membership dues are only $15, and we

welcome participation from guide dog users of all ages and at all

stages – whether you’re just wondering if the guide dog lifestyle is

one that will work for you, or you’re in the process of applying for

your fifth or eighth or tenth guide dog –or you’re at another stage of

guide dog partnership altogether, we welcome your membership and your

involvement in our community.  There’s strength in numbers, and GDUI’s

advocacy is strengthened whenever we grow.  Annual dues are still only

$15, and it’s easy to join by calling our Secretary and Office

Manager, Sarah Calhoun, at 866.799.8436, or online here: If you are a member of a local GDUI

affiliate, you have probably already heard from your leadership about

renewing. If not, give your affiliate president or your treasurer a

call to make sure you’re included on the membership list!


And, now for Top Dog news!

The conference coordinators asked us to share these two items with

all of you who will be winging your way toward Orlando later this


A Welcome Letter from the Hotel

Top Dog is almost here!

Event Dates:  Friday, January 13 through Sunday, January 15, 2017.

Event hotel: The Holiday Inn And Suites across from Universal Orlando

5905 Kirkman Road

Orlando, FL 32819

Phone:  (407) 351-3333 or (800) 216-0635


January 8, 2017

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Fresh, Fun, and Affordable Holiday Inn & Suites

Across from Universal Orlando.

We are delighted to Host “Top Dog! “Our team looks forward to providing

service beyond your expectations. Should you need further assistance, please

contact our Guest Service Champions at our Front Desk for assistance by

dialing our main number 407-313-3333 then pressing “0”.

Our Internet access code for this month is HULK and additional computer

usage is available at the Business Center if needed. On the first floor you

will find our Laundry and Fitness Center right next to each other, you will

need your room key for access. There are detergent machines where you

can use quarters to Purchas, and quarters are available at the Front



We can make a printed internal map of the hotel available as well. The Top Dog

Convention will be held completely on the first floor of the hotel. If you

are standing in front of the front desk it will be located to your right as

you step off from the tiled floor to the carpeted floor.

Upon check-in we will punch hole the top left of the room keys so they are

ready for you to insert to open your sleeping rooms.

We have two (2) Elevator locations for your convenience.

TGI Friday’s Restaurant is connected to our hotel just a couple feet to the

right away from the arcade. You don’t have to exit the hotel to get to TGI

Friday’s Restaurant.

We also have a Gift Shop in the lobby where you could purchase gifts and

snacks until 9pm.

Once again welcome and please let us know if there is anything we can do to

make your stay more comfortable!

Warmest regards from our team to you,

Holiday Inn & Suites across from Universal Orlando ™

Welcome to Top Dog 2017 from Dixieland Guide Dog Users, Georgia Guide

Dog Users and from host chapter, Guide Dog Users of Florida and from

your Top Dog 2017 team,

Kathleen Trutschel, Registrar, Sue Harden, Exhibits  Coordinator and

Debbie Grubb Program Coordinator.


Top Dog 2017 Program

Thursday, January 12, Registration from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM

to 9:00 PM. The Hospitality Suite (the Penthouse) will be open from

7:00 Pm to 10:00 PM.

Friday, January 13,

Registration from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

As usual, the exhibit hall, located in the Junior Ballroom,  will be

open on both Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

The hospitality suite will open at 6:00 AM so visit often.

Breakfast will be served from 7:00 AM to 8:15 AM in the Studio Room

The program includes four sessions of CPR training for your guide.  We

are delighted to have the First Aid/CPR instructor from Southeastern

Guide Dogs, Bonnie Knapp,  to bring these sessions to us free of

charge.  She will be ably assisted by veterinarian Dr. Amy Long and

other volunteers.  The sessions are scheduled from 10:00 AM to 10:50

AM;  11:00 AM to 11:50 AM;1:00 PM to 1:50 PM; 2:00 PM to 2:50 PM.  All

sessions will be held in the E/P/D & Corridor Room.  Your specific

class times will be provided at registration.

Lunch will be served in the Studio Room from 12:00 to 1:15 PM.

Wayfinding devices are adding to freedom of movement and access to all

sorts of information which is greatly enhancing the travel experience

for guide dog users.  Jenine Stanley, co-host of ACB Radio’s Main Menu

and Consumer Relations Coordinator, Guide Dog Foundation, will be

available throughout the day to provide hands on demonstrations of

some of the most accessible and versatile of these wayfinding apps and

devices.  If you are interested in having time with Jenine to

experience a hands on demonstration of these apps and devices, please

ask at the registration desk about setting up an appointment with her

when you pick up your materials.

If you have ever worried about an airline emergency, please come to

the airline emergency preparedness presentation in the E/P/D &

Corridor Room scheduled from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Candace Kolander

Association of  Flight Attendants,(Afa); Coordinator of the

International AFA Air Safety, Health and Security Department,  will

bring us Interesting, surprising and crucially important information

and insights that are specifically applicable to us as guide dog

users.  There will be a time for your questions.

The Friday evening dinner will be served in the Studio Room at 6:00

  1. Be sure to join us for good food, fellowship and great music

provided by Asli Goncer & David & Brenda Hillebrandt and their Band.

At the conclusion of the dinner, the hospitality suite will be open

for more fun, food and fellowship.


Breakfast will be served in the Studio Room from 7:00 to 8:15 AM.

The annual Top Dog Blessing of the Guide Dogs will take place in the

Studio Room from 8:30 AM to 9:45 AM under the direction of a very

spiritual retired United Methodist Pastor, Janice McLay.

The exhibit hall will be open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the Junior Ballroom.

The hospitality suite opens again at 6:00 AM so visit often.


Flying with Your Guide Dog will take place in the Studio Room from

9:45 AM to 10:45 AM.  This panel presentation will bring to us A

Summary of the Effort to Update Air Carrier Access Act Regulations

that Affect Accessibility for People with Disabilities who work

service dogs and any necessary updates from the Department of Justice.

The panelists  will discuss how to ensure that your rights are

appropriately implemented and discuss your personal responsibilities

and present helpful hints about how best to prepare to have the most

stress free trip possible for both you and your guide.

The panelists are:

Becky Davidson, Manager of Consumer Outreach and Graduate Support,

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Penny Reeder, President Guide Dog Users, Inc.

Jenine Stanley, Consumer Relations Coordinator, Guide Dog Foundation

for the Blind

Chelsea White, Outreach Specialist The Seeing Eye

Moderator, Debbie Grubb, top Dog 2017  Program Coordinator.,

We  will remain in the Studio Room for the presentation concerning

Allergies in Dogs from 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM.  Dawn Logas, DVM, will

discuss this medical issue that has become more prevalent with the

ever changing environment.  She will describe allergy symptoms and

treatment and other important information that you need to know as you

work with your veterinarian to combat allergy effects on your dog.

Lunch will be served in the Studio Room from  12:00 PM to 1:15 Pm.

Guide Dog School Updates will take place in the Studio Room from 1:30

PM to 2:30 PM.  representatives from all guide dog schools present

will have the opportunity to bring you the latest news on what is

taking place at the schools they represent.

The Studio Room will also be the location for the presentation on

Wayfinding devices from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM.  a description of some of

the most accessible and versatile of these apps and devices will be

presented by Jenine Stanley, co-host ACB Radio Main Menu. There will

be time for your questions.

The Top Dog 2017 Banquet will be served in the Studio Room from 6:00

PM to 8:00 PM.  Charlie Crawford, friend and mentor to many throughout

his diverse and significant career and throughout his meaningful life

will share with us his journeys with the guide dogs who have partnered

with him throughout his life as he has grown, changed and triumphed

over adversity to remain his best, true and strong self.


Sunday, January 15

Breakfast will be served in the Studio Room from 7:00 to 8:30 AM.

As we partake of breakfast, we will once again participate in Guide

Dog Tales, the sharing of personal anecdotes and experiences with our

guides, moderated by Jenine Stanley, Guide Dog Foundation.  This

program depends entirely on you and the stories that you bring to us.


This brings to an end Top Dog 2017.  It is our fervent hope that each

one of you will return to your homes very glad that you came, better

equipped to live your lives of freedom with your guide dogs and with

very special memories that will bring light and joy to your lives.


For the security and well being of all who join us for Top Dog 2017,

please understand that no volunteer will enter your sleeping room.

Neither the Top Dog 2017 team, volunteers nor staff from the hotel can

provide you with a dedicated personal guide nor personal assistance

services.  If you require this sort of assistance, you are most

welcome to join us and to bring someone with you who is equipped to

make available to you the assistance that you require.



Wow, the Top Dog Conference sounds wonderful, doesn’t it! I know that

all of you who can attend will thoroughly enjoy yourselves. I have

personally been looking forward to Top Dog 2017 ever since my husband

and I returned from Top Dog 2015 in Charleston. Unfortunately, I found

out a couple of hours ago that Willow and I will not be there after

all. I have been struggling with a respiratory infection for a couple

of months. I thought I was coping pretty well with the assistance of

some new meds, but my doctor does not agree, and she told me this

afternoon that I should not fly. I am disappointed (but I’m doing my

best to cope with the news like a grown-up!) Willow and I are sending

all of you who can attend our best wishes for safe travels and happy



Thank you all for your friendship and support.


Penny Reeder, President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.


Deanna Noriega, First Vice President

Guide Dog Users, Inc.


Call us, toll-free, at  866.799.8436

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