Announcing Top Dog, 2017!

Our friends with Guide Dog Users of Florida are excited to announce program details and registration info for Top Dog 2017! The event will take place January 13 thru January 15, 2017, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, across from Universal, in Orlando, FL.

Scroll down to read the latest update from the Top Dog-2017 team! Hope to see you there!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!

Contact the Dixie Land Guide Team!
Dixie Land GDU, Inc., 1608 Acacia St., Charleston, SC 29407 (843) 571-0737

We provide education for the sighted community and peer mentoring with advocacy for the blindness community (guide dog, cane and sighted guide users alike), while promoting one community at large.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

"Paws 4" Top Dog-2017!

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, s  Coordinator and Debbie Grubb Program Coordinator.

We want to express our gratitude to the following guide dog schools who have brought to this event individuals with specific expertise and commitment to the movement.

The Guide Dog Foundation

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

The Seeing Eye

Southeastern Guide Dogs

We also wish to extend our thanks to the following organizations for their significant financial contributions

Helping Hands for the Blind

The Florida Council of the Blind

Coalition for the Concerns of the Totally Blind

The Greater Orlando Council of the Blind

We wish to express our gratitude to the Top Dog 2017 Webmaster, Ryan Mann

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. You may reach the hotel by telephone at (407) 351-3333 or (800) 216-0635.

In this document you will find instructions for event and hotel room registration; discount ground transportation from the airport to the event hotel; instructions to register with Orlando Paratransit, Access Lynx; and details about the program.

We have been anticipating Top Dog 2017 since we left Charleston at the conclusion of Top Dog 2015.  Please know how welcome you are and how much we want you to experience the best that Top Dog has to offer.

Hotel room registration:  in order to reserve a room, please call (800) 216-0635 and say that you are registering for Top Dog 2017.  Be sure to provide the event code which is "Top".  You may also register online at www.hiuniversal.com http://www.hiuniversal.com where you will use the code "top" as well.

The cost per standard room is $89.00 per night plus applicable tax. The cost for a one bedroom suite is $149.00 plus applicable tax and the cost of a two bedroom suite is $189.00 plus applicable tax.  The pricing will be in effect for three days before and after Top Dog for your vacation pleasure.  The hotel room registration   deadline is December 12, 2016.

Top Dog 2017 Registration:

There are two registration options.  You can register for the event without the meal package at the cost of $15.00 per person or you can register with the delicious seven meal package at the cost of $130.00 per person.  The package includes a traditional plated breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, boxed lunches with a vegetarian option on Friday and Saturday afternoons and plated dinners with a vegetarian option on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Meals for Top Dog:

Plated Breakfast: (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
* The Eye Opener
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Bacon or Sausage
Cottage Fried Potatoes with Peppers & Onions
Warm Biscuits with Butter, Honey & Jelly
Freshly Baked Pastry Basket
Fresh Florida Orange Juice, Cranberry and Apple Juice
Coffee/Teas and Assorted Creamers

Working Lunch: (Friday & Saturday)
* Deli Sub
Three Assorted Meats and Cheeses
Lettuce, Tomatoes and Onions
Garnished with Olives, Pickles
Your Choice of Pasta Salad or Chips
Cookies
Please note during the registration process if you prefer the vegetarian option.
Soda and bottled water will be available.


Plated Dinner: (Friday)
* Italian Lasagna
Accompanied by: Tossed Salad, Seasonal Vegetables, Rolls
with Butter, Chef's Choice Dessert, Coffee/Tea
Please note during the registration process if you prefer the vegetarian  option.

Plated Dinner: (Saturday)
* Duo Entrée; BBQ Chicken or Pork Marsala (Sauce on the Side)
Accompanied by: Tossed Salad, Chefs Choice of Herb Rice or
Garlic Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Rolls with Butter, Chef's Choice
Dessert, Coffee/Tea
Please note during the registration process your choice of entrée or if you prefer the vegetarian  option.

Registration is available online at https://topdog.technologyisawesome.com

You may find it necessary to paste the link into your browser.  You may contact Top Dog 2017 Registrar, Kathleen Trutschel at (386) 257-9337 if you wish to register via telephone.  The deadline for Top Dog 2017 registration is December 12, 2016.  The deadline for requesting a refund is December 31, 2016.

Top Dog 2017 Program:
Friday, January 13,

As usual, the exhibit hall will be open on both Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

Breakfast will be served from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM.

The program includes four sessions of CPR training for your guide.  Each session will be open to 10 participants.  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.   This program will be open on a first come first served basis to the first 40 guide dog users  who register.  You may choose your time preference; but that choice will not be guaranteed.  We do guarantee the first 40 guide dog users a spot in one of the sessions.  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.

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, and her husband, KentStanley, will be available throughout the day to provide hands on demonstrations of some of the most accessible and versatile of these wayfinding devices.  In order to schedule an appointment with them, please do so at the registration desk when you pick up your materials.

If you have ever worried about an airline emergency, please come to the airline emergency preparedness presentation at 3:00 PM.  Interesting, surprising and crucially important information and insights will be shared and there will be a time for your questions.

The Friday evening dinner will be served at 6:00 PM.  Be sure to join us for good food, fellowship and great music.

At the conclusion of the dinner, the hospitality suite will be open for more fun, food and fellowship.  .

Saturday Program:

Breakfast will be served from 7:00 to 8:15 AM.

The annual Top Dog Blessing of the Guide Dogs will take place 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 for the shopping pleasure of those who choose not to participate in the Blessing.

Flying with Your Guide Dog: will take place 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 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 Barnes, 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, GDUI Affiliates Liaison

Allergies in Dogs, 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 their symptoms and treatment and other important information that you need to know as you work with your veterinarian to combat their effects on your dog.

Lunch:  12:00 PM to 1:15 Pm.

Guide Dog School Updates: 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.

Wayfinding devices, 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM.  a description of and a discussion about some of the most accessible and versatile of these devices, presented by Jenine Stanley, co-host ACB Radio Main Menu. There will be time for your questions to be addressed.  Remember to schedule an appointment for a hands on demonstration with Jenine and Kent Stanley at the registration desk on Friday.

Top Dog 2017 Banquet, 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 14

Breakfast, 7:00 to 8:30 PM.
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.


Exciting Top Dog 2017 Raffle:

Would you like to own a pair of Disney one-day only passes for all four of the theme parks that are good for two years with very few blackout dates? If you would, here is your chance.  The Top Dog 2017 team is raffling off two pairs of these passes to assist us to fund the event.  With each ticket that you purchase, you have two chances to win, one for each pair of the one-day only passes for all four of the theme parks.  The cost per ticket is $5.00 or you may purchase three for $10.00.  Please feel free to purchase as many tickets as you like to better your opportunity for winning.  The drawings for the two winners will take place on Thursday, December 1,2016. This raffle is open to all.

To purchase your tickets, please contact the Top Dog 2017 registrar, Kathleen Trutschel via phone at (386) 307-8275  or via email at ktrutschel@cfl.rr.com <mailto:ktrutschel@cfl.rr.com>

You may also purchase tickets during the registration process either via telephone or on line before the deadline of December 1, 2016.

Good luck to all from the Top Dog 2017 team

Ground Transportation:  If you would like to travel by way of Orlando's paratransit system, Access Lynx, please phone them at 407-423-8747 to be advised as to the process for their receiving your eligibility confirmation from your paratransit provider.

For those of you who wish shuttle service from and to the airport, Mears Transportation is providing a coupon that authorizes a $4.00 discount from the regular round trip ride of $33.00.  In order to take advantage of this discount, you will need to bring a hard copy of the coupon to the ticket window when you purchase your round trip ticket.  You will find a link on the Top Dog 2017 website from which you can download the coupon and read the instructions for scheduling your return trip to the airport.  The coupon is valid from Sunday January 8, 2017 through Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Top Dog 2017 Vendors

Guiding Eyes for the Blind,  Becky Barnes

The Seeing Eye, Chelsea White

Guide Dog Foundation, Jenine Stanley

Southeastern Guide Dogs,  Suzy Wilburn

Total Life Changes, Dimaris Cruz

Guide Lights and Gadgets,  Barry Scheur

Freedom Scientific, Bill Hopton

Low Vision AidsInc, Magnifying America,  John Palmer

Mary Kay, Nancy Folsom

Paul Odham's Opals and Gems, Paul and Patty Odham

Envision America Patricia Bissell

Delicious Candy and Other Great Surprises Leslie Spoone

H.E.L.P. Animals Inc, Cheryl Crozier.

ADL Service Dogs Training and Rescue

Veterinarian Dr. Amy Long and Vet Tech available on Friday only for canine
ear cleaning and nail clipping at a fee of $5.00 for each procedure.

Lilla Rose, Kelly James

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando.  Please share this update far
and wide.

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About Us

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Charleston, SC, United States
Dixie Land Guide Dog Users is the South Carolina Affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc., the largest guide dog-related organization In the United States.