The City of Clearwater is sponsoring a guide dog puppy-in-training from the Southeastern Guide Dogs organization. He was introduced to Clearwater residents, the Mayor and City Council and Chamber and Coast Guard representatives at a May 2012 City Council meeting recently in the City Hall Chambers.
Coastie is a 14-week-old yellow Labrador and he is the city’s newest ambassador. Clearwater resident Stephanie Miller will raise him, teach basic obedience, and expose him to a variety of people, places, and local city events, such as Fourth of July festivities, Chamber of Commerce events, Bark at the Ballpark, and other city celebrations. He was named for the city’s recent designation as a Coast Guard City.
The Southeastern Guide Dog program trains puppies to assist those with disabilities, and more than 2,500 guide dogs have been matched with individuals with visual impairment. The city’s sponsorship of $3,500 includes the naming and sponsorship of the puppy. Sponsorship supports Coastie’s care from nine-weeks-old and continues until he returns to the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus for formal harness training at 14 to 20 months of age. Hopefully when Coastie is about two years old, he will be matched with an individual to provide mobility and independence.
“We are excited to partner with the Southeastern Guide Dogs organization to help those in our community that are sight impaired. They, like those that are hearing impaired, are an important part of our community and the city of Clearwater wants to recognize them by sponsoring Coastie,” says Mayor George N. Cretekos.
Guide dogs and guide dogs-in-training are permitted entrance into City of Clearwater events, public meetings, facilities, and buildings. To learn more about the Southeastern Guide Dogs, visit www.guidedogs.org. The City Council Meetings airs live on CVIEW TV or can be viewed via the streaming video feature of www.myclearwater.com.
Clearwater is an ideal destination for travelers of all ages and interests, occupying prime real estate along Florida’s stunning Gulf Coast. As a top, year round location for both leisure and business, Clearwater boasts an endless supply of sun, warm weather, great dining, and shopping, along with extensive outdoor activities both on land and at sea. Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked among America’s most beautiful and the city is also home to a wide variety of sporting and music events, including Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training and the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday.