“I don’t know what I’d do without him—it’s a perfect match.” That’s how Melissa (“Missy”), a Pennsylvania resident, describes her relationship with “Bordley,” the successor Fidelco guide dog she received in early March 2020. Missy’s beloved first guide dog, “Grady,” had passed away suddenly just a few weeks earlier, and she missed him desperately. But Missy made the leap, and Bordley is now a well-established member of the family, loved by her husband and two daughters, ages three and 10.
Missy began experiencing vision loss as a freshman in high school and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, losing all vision in 2006. Though she knew she wanted a German Shepherd guide dog when her vision began to deteriorate, Missy’s journey toward partnering with her first Fidelco guide dog in 2009 was undertaken with great care. She was determined to first perfect her orientation and mobility skills and research the many guide dog programs that were available. Her decision to select Fidelco Guide Dogs became clear when an acquaintance was placed with a Fidelco guide dog, and she saw, first-hand, the difference the dog made in her life.
Missy is a Duquesne University graduate and works at a nearby community college where she “wears many hats.” She began her career in 2008 as a tutor and is now a Pathways Advisor for students, some of whom are former members of the military, helping them to adjust to college life and pursue their academic and professional goals. Missy chose to work with these students because her husband, Jay, is active in the Army Reserves.
In addition to her work as an advisor, Missy also coordinates one of the college’s academic support programs and teaches part-time.
Missy says, “I’m so grateful to Fidelco for partnering me with my amazing guide dogs. My guide dogs have helped me to travel more quickly and confidently, and I truly appreciate the companionship they provide.”
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