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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Paws 2 Meet Laurel Jean!

From the President...

Laurel at Grand piano

Keys are Key

Whether sitting at her desk, typing on her computer keyboard or at her Casio, popping out tunes on her digital pianos, or exercising her vocal chords, always hitting just that right note, Laurel Jean Walden seems to constantly be “on key.”

An accomplished recording artist, composer/writer, vocalist, pianist, and motivational speaker, Laurel Jean has dedicated her life to presenting God’s message with her music. Laurel began her professional career at 14; produced her first album while still a teenager and has 12 CD’s to her credit.

The epitome of “independence”, Laurel frequently travels all across the country accompanied only by “White Lightning”, her long, white cane. When asked why she chooses not to use a dog guide Laurel smiles and replies, “Well, I love dogs-all dogs. If I’m traveling on a job and my cane breaks, I can always get a new one. If I had a guide dog, though, and something happened to it while traveling...well, it would just break my heart!” She is very active, enjoys scheduling her own travel itinerary, as well as hiking/walking, tandem biking and bowling.

Laurel talking to Zettie

Laurel quickly adds that she has a dog, Zettie-a beautiful black lab mix. "She’s not a service dog. She's my little girl and I love her with a love that is bigger than life!"

In addition to her music, ministry, and Chaplaincy for God’s Blind Kids of all ages, Laurel is a Certified Braille Proofreader by the U.S. Library of Congress. She also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users and, in fact, created and maintains this website.

Laurel dedicates much of her time towards helping others. One of the many ways she serves God is by providing talking Bibles to those who cannot read because of blindness or severe learning disabilities. She truly does shine His Light on those who would live in perpetual darkness.

Laurel with Grace Church choir

Two of Laurel’s favorite things to do, though,would be to sing and play the piano for the choir at her home church, Grace United Methodist Church, Charleston, SC. She even used her computer to print out one of her very own songs for the choir to sing with her! She never ceases to amaze us with her unbridled adventurous nature. Last year she displayed her dancing skills with the Interpretive Dance group and she’s already planning to try her hand at acting in this year’s Easter production. She has even been known to assist withmeal preparation for church fellowship events!

If that isn’t enough, Laurel continues to serve as a vital member of our Dixie Land Guide Team when we’re out doing a “Paws 2 Educate” program and is already working hard in the planning of next year’s Top Dog-Charleston, 2015!


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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.