Posts Written On July 01, 2020


Class 289-5 (2).jpg

SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS Service dog class #289, Teresa and service dog Scott, trainer Anne Savo, Marc and service dog Scooter, trainer Laska Parrow, and Mike and service dog Ryan. 



grad cc (1).jpg

July 1, 2020 (Palmetto, FL)– For three new service dog graduates, July 4, 2020 has a very special meaning. 

These veterans, who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, marked the first service dog class to return to the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown in March. While many organizations have not yet resumed operations, Southeastern Guide Dogs is welcoming students back to campus following the implementation of rigorous protocols for the health and safety of staff, volunteers and dogs. 

These three heroes, representing 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps, finished their 11 days of training at the end of June, and left for their Florida homes with their new, four-legged best friends. After years of struggling with the isolation, anxiety, hyper-vigilance and other challenges of PTSD, Independence Day arrives with renewed hope for living lives filled with freedom and new possibilities.

When the fireworks explode in the sky on July 4, Teresa, Marc and Mike will have their service dogs by their sides to offer them comfort. 

Teresa is an Army veteran who did not know that she could be eligible for a service dog for her PTSD until she learned about Southeastern Guide Dogs from her VA counselor. Now, her dog Scott reassures her with his combination of alertness and calm, replacing her fears with hope.

Navy veteran Marc did six deployments around the world, retiring to civilian life in 2015. But anxiety and depression derailed his future. Enter easygoing, smart Scooter, who has relieved Marc’s PTSD symptoms and given him new joy.

Even though he lived just 12 minutes from Southeastern Guide Dogs for years, Marine Mike knew nothing about service dogs. Now his 17-year struggle with PTSD has been tempered by an affectionate, energetic dog named Ryan, who makes all the difference in Mike’s outlook.

If you are a veteran or know one who could benefit from the extraordinary gifts of a Southeastern Guide Dogs service dog, please apply today. Our services and dogs are provided at no cost and include extensive benefits such as premium dog food, yearly veterinary wellness care, vaccines and preventatives for the life of a guide or service dog team. Learn more.

Each and every dog transforms a veteran’s life.

About Southeastern Guide Dogs 

Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Our organization operates the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. Our experts breed, raise, and train elite working dogs—including guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs—and provide life-changing services for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. Pursuing our mission since 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs now has over 1,200 dogs under our auspices. 

All of our services—which include selective breeding and expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and the most robust alumni support program in North America—are provided at no cost to recipients. We rely 100% on private donations. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Learn more at


What is Heat Stroke in Dogs?

Severe illness characterized by hyperthermia greater than 105.8 degrees F and CNS (Central Nervous System) abnormalities.

Causes of Heat Induced Illness in Dogs:

  • Exposure to hot environments
    • Examples: Leaving a dog in a hot car, leaving a dog in a crate without adequate ventilation, leaving a dog in a hot environment without access to water
  • During strenuous physical exercise under heat stress
    • Examples: Military working dogs, dogs that are overly playful, or in some cases only a few minutes of walking in high heat and/or humidity 
  • Predisposing patient factors such as breed (brachycephalic breeds such as English Bulldogs, or large breeds such as Golden Retrievers), older age, obesity, and underlying medical conditions

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs:

  • Excessive panting and signs of discomfort indicate overheating in dogs.
  • A dog overheating may also be unable or unwilling to move around. 
  • Other signs of heat stroke in dogs include drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse.

How to Immediately Care for Dogs Showing Signs: 

  1. Cool your dog off IMMEDIATELY by soaking their entire body with water from a hose or shower. If this is not possible, then bring them immediately to the ER. 
  2. Get them to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY. 
  3. While in the car on the way to the ER, turn the AC on high, and/or open the windows all the way to allow them to cool by evaporation (if you soaked them in water) or by convection from the air passing over their body.

Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs: 

  • Take care not to expose your dog to hot and humid conditions, especially if they have a predisposition to heat stroke, and especially early in the summer when they are not yet acclimated to the heat.
  • Do not leave dogs in cars – even with windows open – heat stroke can happen.
  • When outdoors, always make sure they are in areas that are well ventilated with lots of shade and access to cold water to drink.
  • Walk your dog in cool mornings and late afternoons / early evenings. 

Considered the “Cedars-Sinai” for premier animal care, MASH is a 24-hour specialty and emergency animal hospital offering veterinary Surgery, Internal Medicine, Emergency and Critical Care, Dermatology, Oncology,Nutrition, and Dentistry. Currently, MASH is implementing safe drop-off protocols for patients, and not turning away any pets that come from COVID-19 positive families. For more info on their emergency procedures, click HERE.


Celebrate a Fire-Quacker Fourth with Duck on the Grill for Independence Day

Grills will soon be heating up across the country for the Fourth of July holiday. Make your backyard barbeque a standout this year with duck. If you’re burned out on the usual beef, pork or chicken, duck is a versatile and delicious alternative to other meats — and it’s just as easy to prepare.

Just in time for Independence Day, Maple Leaf Farms has created a duck grilling kit complete with ready-to-grill duck products, duck grilling guide with duck recipes and an exclusive “Fire Quacker” apron. Its farm-raised White Pekin duck products have a tender, mild flavor that adapts to a variety of flavor profiles. Plus, duck is surprisingly healthy and is leaner and has less saturated fat than other meats.

The Fire-Quacker Duck Grilling Kit features 8 skinless duck breasts for a delicious filet flavor, 4 lbs. of all natural ground duck meat that’s great for burgers and 32 fully cooked duckbrats, a classic sausage made healthier with duck and Maple Leaf Farms’ newest product offering.

Duck has amazing, mouthwatering flavor when cooked on the grill and will be sure to turn up the heat at your next backyard get-together. This recipe using all new duck brats is a great way to introduce duck to your holiday celebration.

Find more recipes for the grill and information about cooking with duck at

Tucker Family Duck Brats with Onion Jam

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium sweet onions, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rings
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4–6 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Brats, thawed
  • 2 cups beef stock or beer
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4–6 hoagie rolls, toasted


1. In large pan, heat butter until foaming. On low heat add the onions, brown sugar, salt and pepper; stir and let onions caramelize for about 20 minutes. Add Dijon mustard and stir. Addduck brats to the pan and pour beef stock or beer over brats. Add apple cider vinegar and cook to medium heat; braise for 10 minutes. (Duck brats are already fully cooked).

2. Remove brats and let onion mixture simmer on medium while you finish the brats on a medium-high heat grill about 4–5 minutes on each side.

3. Serve brats in hoagie roll with onion jam on top.

Duck Wellington

Servings: 2


  • 8 to 10 oz. Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Meat or Boneless Duck Breast, skin removed
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 10 oz. Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
  • 1-3/4 tsp. Garlic Powder (divided)
  • 6 slices Prosciutto
  • Spicy or Course Ground Mustard for brushing meat
  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry (cut in half and prepped to cover 2 Wellingtons)
  • Egg Wash (1 Egg Yolk and 1 tsp. Water)


1. Season your duck breast meat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pan and quickly sear the meat all over, about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes each side. Remove and allow to cool.

2. Roughly chop the mushrooms and pulse chop in a food processor to form a coarse breadcrumb-like texture. Scrape the mixture into a hot, dry pan. Add thyme, 3/4 tsp. of your garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook to allow the water to evaporate. When sufficiently dry (the mixture should be sticking together easily), set aside and cool.

3. Roll out a generous length of plastic wrap and lay out 3 slices of prosciutto, each one slightly overlapping each other. Spread half of the mushroom mixture evenly in a thin layer over the prosciutto. Repeat for the second Wellington.

4. Brush your duck breast meat all over with spicy mustard. Place 4-5 oz. of duck in the middle of each prepped prosciutto, and neatly roll it over the duck. Keeping a tight hold of the plastic wrap from the outside, roll it into a tight barrel shape and twist the ends to secure the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry thinly to a size which will cover your duck. Lightly egg wash the entire surface of one side of pastry and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Unwrap one of the meat logs from the plastic wrap and place the duck meat in the middle of dough. Fold dough over, stretching and pinching as needed, to seal completely. Remove any excess dough and fold any seams neatly to the underside. Place seam side down on a plate and egg wash over the top. Repeat the process for the second duck meat log. Chill again to let the pastry cool, approximately 20 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

6. When you’re ready to cook, egg wash again and use the back of a knife to lightly score the pastry. Do not cut through your pastry. Place bundles seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in a pre-heated 425 degree F oven for about 25 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving in thick slices.

About Maple Leaf Farms:

Maple Leaf Farms, Inc. is America’s leading producer of quality duck products, supplying retail and foodservice markets throughout the world with innovative, value-added foods. Founded in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms is a fourth generation, family-owned company. For more information, contact Maple Leaf Farms at 1-800-348-2812 or visit