[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
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: mailto:Nolan.Crabb@gmail.com .
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:
http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/. 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
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
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
- 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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