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!
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, September 17, 2009
Top Dog Goes Whole Hog, from the "Funvention" Director
The kind folks at the Best Western are offering our guests the incredible low nightly room rate of only $64.99 (plus tax) for the entire week of January 11-18, 2010. They want everyone to come early and stay later. To get that low rate, though, you MUST CALL THE HOTEL DIRECTLY at 843-722-4000. Be sure to tell them you're coming to "Top Dog". The Spring Street Best Western was formerly the Howard Johnson, home of our very first Top Dog. While the building remains the same, the hotel has just undergone a major multi-million dollar renovation and is absolutely beautiful! Some of the helpful staff is still there and they are all anxiously awaiting our return. Most rooms (except Kings) are equipped with microwaves and all have refrigerators. For those who want to stay longer, there is a restaurant located in the hotel and 2 fast-food places (McDonald's & Arby's) in the same block!
The Hospitality Suites are located on the 8th floor and, as always, will offer complimentary snacks and beverages for our registered guests. Located adjacent to one of the Hospitality Suites will be Carla Campbell, who has graciously offered to pamper our furriest with one of her famous pet massages at a discounted price. In addition, the kind folks at Charleston Pet Resort will be available to trim your guide's nails and brush his teeth at no charge.
Dixie Land's President, Nancy Smith Moore, and her new hubby (our First Dude), will greet those of our guests flying into Charleston's airport, where complimentary ground transportation to and from the airport and train station will be available. One of our fantastic volunteers will be waiting at the Best Western to escort you to either the hotel registration desk or our Funvention registration room. If you'd like, someone can also escort you to your room to familiarize you with its layout.
Now, YOU CAN REGISTER ELECTRONICALLY by Email or telephone! Early registration (before 12/15/09) for our Top Dog Funvention is only $60 per person and includes our reception, featuring Mr. Duncan Holmes, and his guide dog, Lucky; the awards ceremony; legendary entertainment; bagged breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings; a delicious bagged lunch Saturday afternoon; an All You Can Eat Barbecue Roundup Saturday evening; written programs (Braille & large print); all scheduled "Play Times" on Saturday; River Walks; tandem bicycle and motorcycle rides; commemorative t-shirts and caps; and more! All registrations paid after 12/15/2009 will increase to $75 per person.
Our programs, or "Play Times" will begin Saturday morning with a Christian "Blessing" or, for those non-Christians, a River Walk along the Ashley River to Brittlebank Park. Afterwards, we hear from Dr. Ruth Roberts, a well-known local vet who specializes in hip displaysia and allergies. Next, we have an interactive panel discussion between some of our blind youth and various "seasoned" cane and guide dog users. We've named this session, "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" and encourage everyone to attend and participate in the discussions. Our last "Play Time" will touch on "Identity Theft", something very real to everyone!
Following this session we'll break for the delicious lunch prepared by our very own blind caterers, Derrick Middleton and Taffany Bolger.
Our Exhibit Hall will be opened from 2 pm until 5 pm, where you'll meet representatives from some of the nation's best guide dog schools; experience some of the latest access technology; and "see" an assortment of specially prepared jewelry by fellow guide dog user, Jenine Stanley.
Our first bus leaves at 2 pm for an extremely comfortable and informative, unbelievably descriptive tour of downtown Charleston, including a stroll through Battery Point. We invite you to touch the cannons used during the infamous Civil War. Listen and learn as your tour guide takes you through Charleston's colorful history from early settlement to pirates to slave owners to today! Ride through our cobblestone streets past such historic sights as Rainbow Row; the Old Slave Market; The Citadel Military Academy and much, much more. These optional tours are offered by Charleston Tours for only $15 each.
This year's theme is "Top Dog Goes Whole Hawg" and for good reason! Exercise your fork fingers! Loosen up your feeding digits! Lubricate your lips and strengthen your jaw bones! Bessinger's is planning a feast for all of us with an All You Can Eat Barbecue Roundup featuring their award-winning barbecue pork, beef, ribs and chicken. We planned lots for you to do so you can belly up to the trough good and hungry. Just wait until you wrap your lips around some of their mouth-watering meats; lip-smacking hash & rice; delicious baked beans; and cole slaw to die for! Sop up every last smidgen with one of their heavenly rolls; but save room for some of their "slap your mama" good nanner pudding!
Yes, we've anticipated that you'll want to take one of our many tours, so we've planned 2 dinner seatings: early and late to accommodate you.
If you have to leave us Sunday morning, be sure to grab your "to go" bagged breakfast, but, if you can, stick around for a special non-denominational church service.
To learn more about our infamous Top Dog Charleston, you can call us at: 843-608-6890 or shoot us an Email at: email@example.com
Be sure to check out our new website, too at:
Y'all come! We'll be looking for you!
Audrey Gunter, Funvention Chairman
Dixie Land Guide Dog Users
Favorite Links and Resources
- Association for the Blind, Charleston, SC, proud sponsor of Dixie Land GDU!
- Charleston Pet Resort (a proud sponsor of Top Dog 2010!)
- Dragon Boat Charleston, proud sponsor of Dixie Land GDU!
- Gallant Hearts Guide Dog Center
- Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Inc.
- Guide Dog Users of Florida, a Top Dog 2010 Sponsor!
- Guide Dog Users, Inc.
- Guide Dogs for the Blind
- Guide Dogs of America
- Guiding Eyes for the Blind
- Leader Dogs for the Blind
- Pilot Dogs
- Retina Consultants of Charleston, proud sponsor of Dixie Land GDU!
- Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
- The Seeing Eye