Welcome to Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Online, and Top Dog-2019!

We Dixie Land Guide Dog Users are the South Carolina affiliate of Guide Dog Users, Inc. Our tails are wagging! Due to the amazing response to our Top Dog-Charleston, 2019, our event hotel is booked to capacity and we are no longer taking registrations. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our registered attendees! We can't wait to see you in January!
For those of you who cannot attend in person, keep those ears up and stay tuned for our recorded sessions to be announced!

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.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit organization in the state of South Carolina. Our membership is comprised mostly of guide dog users who have graduated from a variety of schools including Seeing Eye; Guide Dogs for the Blind; Leader Dog; Guide Dog Foundation; Guiding Eyes for the Blind; Pilot Dogs and South Eastern Guide Dog School. Some of our members and associate members are also sighted puppy raisers; guide dog trainers; owners of retired guide dogs; and even other folks who are blind but prefer to use a cane or a sighted guide rather than a guide dog.

We welcome your questions and comments. Just click on the post which best relates to your question/comment and enter your thoughts. Please visit often, and don’t forget to bring or send a friend!


  1. Thanks, Laurel Jean, for your expertise in establishing this blog for Dixie Land! Your many abilities, talents and gifts continue to amaze me!
    As a long-time member, as well as immediate Past President of Dixie Land, I'm looking forward to using this new line of communication to keep folks informed and up to date on our latest adventures, especially our upcoming annual TOP DOG! We're still working on the details, but everyone can expect the unexpected! Food, fellowship, fun, legendary entertainment and much, much more! Stay tuned to hear more about our "TOP DOG Goes Whole Hawg"!

  2. Thanks, Audrey, for the nice comments. Thanks also to my fellow Dixie Landers for sponsoring my walk in today's Cooper River Bridge Walk/Run on behalf of the Charleston Miracle League where T, one of the blind youths in my Children's Chaplaincy, plays baseball. The walk was an awesome experience and I hope to participate again next year. Your ongoing prayers and support mean so much to me, and I am honored to be a member of such an open-minded, forward-thinking organization.

    God bless you, and keep His Song in your heart!

    Laurel Jean and Slim (my long, white cane)

  3. Walking Advertisement:
    Like most guide teams, Zack and I are often stopped by inquisitive dog admirers who either proceed to or ask permission to pet Zack, even when he is in harness. Somehow, they always seem to overlook or ignore the "Please Don't Pet Me I'm Working" sign on his harness handle.
    Yes, their ignorance can really prove to be an annoying inconvenience, but it is exactly what it is-ignorance. They don't know and they don't know that they don't know until we tell them all of the why's, wherefores, etc.
    Personally, I've decided to take advantage of their ignorance by educating as many as possible. If they are kids, I carefully phrase my vocal response in a language they can understand. Most of the time, I've found the adults are the more stubborn, though. They require more of a reason why THEY cannont pet such a handsome animal. I then simply smile and ask them if they work and what they do. Then, I ask if they were trying to concentrate on their jobs and Brad Pitt (for the women) or Angelina Jolee (for the guys), walked up to them and began rubbing their shoulders would they be able to continue working. I always get a smile of understanding and usually a genuine apology for their ignorance. If I've done my job right, everyone walks away satisfied and a bit more knowledgeable.
    According to some resources, there are approximately 28 million blind/legally blind folks living in the good, ol' USA, yet only 12000-15000 are guide dog users. All that means is that we are the first guide teams many would have ever seen. Folks seem to stereotype others by the examples they've experienced.
    As a responsible handler, I feel it is my duty to project a good, positive public image by setting an honorable example. I try to answer everyone's questions with honest, responsible responses. I think we can actually witness to others through the all-around appearance we project where ever we may be.


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.