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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

In Memory

picture of Wayne Fridrich, Jr.

Dixie Land Guide Dog Users Paws 2
Say "Thank You!"
In Memory of Wayne Fridrich Jr.


As most of you already know, Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, Guide Dog Users of Florida and Georgia Guide Dog Users, with the generous sponsorship of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Charleston, held our bi-annual Southeast Regional Top Dog Workshops here in Charleston, SC in January of this year.  We hosted over 150 registrants, including 9 guide dog schools and over 90 dogs from across the continental USA.  In addition to these we also were privileged to have dozens of much-needed volunteers to help with whatever was needed at the time.  One of our beloved members and a former puppy raiser for Fidelco and Southeastern, Peggy Sudol was our Volunteer Co-coordinator.
Peggy solicited assistance from many of the organizations with which she was associated and, when that list was exhausted, she began to recruit family members.
Wayne Fridrich, Jr., Peggy's son, traveled from his home in Connecticut specifically to help us.  In fact, when he heard of an impending treacherous snow storm approaching his area, he intentionally re-scheduled his flight a day ahead in order to avoid the blizzard!
When his plane landed, Wayne hit the ground running!  He and his step-dad, Mike, immediately began transferring all the items we'd been accumulating over the past several months to the hotel.  He helped Mike and Russ create and maintain our "portable relief area", helped fold t-shirts and bandanas; stuffed our registration backpacks; helped with registration and in the Hospitality Suite; assisted with foot traffic in the hotel lobby and Exhibit Hall and even pitched in at dinner times.  There was no job too small for this nice young man!
Although Wayne was stricken with a serious health condition for several years, he'd fought it valiantly.  Unfortunately, however, Wayne lost his battle and went to live with our Lord a few months ago.  Please join with me and my fellow Dixie Landers as we offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the privilege of having known Wayne-even if it were for such a short time and another prayer for Peace for Peggy and her family as they mourn his passing. 
Thanks, Wayne, for all you did and thank you, God for Wayne!  Rest in Peace, my friend!

From our President — Audrey Gunter

Promoting Inclusion Ministry.

Laurel Jean with United Methodist Women of Latta, SC

Here is our Secretary/Treasurer Laurel Jean Walden, at Spartanburg Methodist College with United Methodist Women from Latta, SC at the close of the 2015 South Carolina Mission u (formerly the School of Christian Missions." For the past couple of years, Laurel has served as Music Director for this event. Both she and our President Audrey Gunter have also served as study leaders for the UMW course, "The Church and People With Disabilities."

Every two years, the United Methodist Women feature a new class on the subject of social justice. The study of "The Church and People With Disabilities" was offered as part of the 2014 and 2015 Mission u events. Our thanks to the national body of United Methodist Women for growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God as we work toward making The Body of Christ on earth the inclusive Body of differently able members which God intends the church to be.

Paws 4 Summer Camp!

Summer day campers enjoy playtime with Jessie.

It is always a fulfilling experience for us Dixie Land Guide Dog Users  to speak to children as part of our "Paws 2 Educate Initiative." Here, children attending the Charleston, SC ASPCA 2015 Summer Bark Camp are enjoying a little out-of-harness time with Jessie, the guide dog of Dixie Land GDU President Audrey Gunter.

Whether spending time at Bark Camp, or at the City of Charleston's Summer Day Camp held at the St. Julian Devine Center (another of this summer's highlights), there is never a dull moment. It probably goes without saying that God's kids of all ages enjoy learning about guide dogs and having the opportunity to speak personally with Jessie. The young people also ask a lot of well-thought-out questions about blindness, Braille, the technology that we use and how we who are blind experience life. We find that, as we  take the time to answer such questions, the barriers which seem to divide the sighted and blindness communities decrease significantly. We believe that with every presentation for one of these summer day camps, we grow just a little closer to living as one community at large.  As always, thanks for your ongoing prayers and support.

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.