OC Guide Dogs Meeting
October 7, 2017
The meeting of OC Guide Dogs was called to order at 10:10 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, at the Orangewood Avenue Baptist church located at 8421 Orangewood Avenue in Garden Grove. Those in attendance were:
Paula Hernandez and son Jonathan
Joy (friend of Mindy Wulff) with Ellie
Mindy and Lance Wulff
Estee’s kids Jacob and Sabrina
Mary Ann Epstein
Yvonne and DJ Juanier
Jeff and Jana Senge
Dan and Blanca Varney
Laurie and Bob McDonald
Gabriel Lalli and sons
Kazumi and Yuka
President Estee Boggs introduced herself and welcomed everyone. She announced that her guide dog Columbus was officially retired as of September 23. She then introduced the Board: our Vice President Paula Pinheiro, Treasurer Cynthia Thacker (absent), and Secretary Carla Ross. She also recognized our volunteers Kathy Zuorski and Esther Farris, among others.
Pastor Tye welcomed us to his church. He is happy to host our event. He apologized for an unwelcome guest at our last meeting and hoped no one was offended.
Vice President Paula Pinheiro would like to institute something called “Show and Tell.” Paula brought Puppy Flush Doodie Bags, available from Amazon, for all to feel. These are flush-able, for the times you just can’t get to the large outdoor trash bins. She also passed around boot liner socks from Ruff Wear. The liners improve traction for the dogs and make the boots more comfortable. These products will be listed on our website as products that we’ve tried and liked.
Treasurer’s Report: In Cynthia Thacker’s absence, Kathy Zuorski read the Treasurer’s Report. We have $1,452.45 in our GDB account and $475.76 in our petty cash, for a total of $1,927.88. We also collected $35 at this meeting, for a grand total of $1,962.88. We have $200 in Designated Funds. Kathy also read the proposed budget and asked for a motion to approve.
Motion: Kathy Zuorski moved to approve the proposed 2017-2018 budget (copy attached).
Seconded: Motion seconded by Kathy Blake.
Motion approved unanimously.
Estee reported that GDB is involved in an event at Petco on Saturday, October 14. It’s called the “Hero Event.” Linda Becker is manning a table and needs extra people to help in giving out information about guide dogs. It’s the Irvine Petco on Irvine Center Drive. Contact Linda Becker (949) 278-5850 if you can help.
October 15 is White Cane Safety Day at Downtown Disney, put on by CCB, from 11-4 p.m.
They need volunteers to give out information on the significance of advancing independence by acknowledging people with white canes. Contact person for this event is Ken Metz, firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-793-1805 or 818-882-3610.
November 17-19 is the GDB anniversary in San Francisco. Look for an email from Theresa Stern of GDB or go on their website for more information. Registration is open until October 20. We have a big group of alumni going from OC. Dial into the conference call on October 19 at 4 p.m. for more information (conference call info in email from Theresa).
Our speaker was our own Paula Hernandez, who travels extensively for both business and pleasure with her guide Shiva. She is a project director for a nonprofit organization. Paula talked about the steps she takes to ensure safe and successful journeys. She contacts the hotel and convention site for a layout of the property. She sets up a meeting with the venue coordinator with a sighted guide before the conference starts. She contacts the hotel for orientation of the property.
Regarding traveling with a dog, it is important to know the health requirements in different countries. Canada has the same regulations as the continental U.S. Hawaii, Central and South America are somewhat different. She mentioned the titer test, which tells if your dog has the proper amount of rabies antibodies present in the blood. This test must be done four months before travel (it lasts for 3 years), but the certification of the test must be within 30 days of travel. A vet can draw the blood, but can’t provide the international health certificate. Paula uses the VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital (a specialty vet) for this certification. Some destinations require a certificate that is less than 30 days old – it is important to check with the destination. Google “health requirements for dog travel” or something similar for more information.
Traveling to Mexico is easy, but it is harder to return. They require a 30 day health certificate from your vet. She has learned from experience to travel with an organic shampoo to wash her dog’s paws as they relieve where a lot of other dogs relieve. In an airport, she has learned to ask Shiva to “find the counter” once inside, then ask for a sighted guide to assist through TSA. If she experiences any difficulty, she will ask for the ADA or accessibility person. Her favorite airline is Southwest. One of our members asked about the Known Traveler Number program (KTN), by which you can bypass all TSA lines. It’s a pre-check process and is good for ten years. She often has to take a separate suitcase for Shiva if her destination is remote or not near a pet store for food. According to ADA regulations, the airline must accommodate the extra luggage at no additional charge.
Paula’s biggest message was that you can travel by yourself! Her stories were inspiring.
Estee thanked Paula for her travel tips and announced the barbecue menu items next. We then adjourned at 12:05 for barbecue.