Guide Dogs Help Lead Blind Florida Couple to the Altar

A blind Florida couple is crediting their guide dogs with leading them to the altar.

Mike and Eva Truelock, of Winter Haven, met at Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc. in 2007 after Eva Truelock, 45, returned to the school because she was having trouble with her dog, according to The Ledger.

Mike Truelock, 48, was already there with his first guide dog. The couple's paths only crossed for a week, but they exchanged numbers and soon started talking on the phone. After three years of a long-distance romance, Mike Truelock moved to Florida and the couple married in 2010.

Mike Truelock has Retina Pigmentosa and has been legally blind since he was 28-years-old. His wife was born with a cancer of the retina and became legally blind as a toddler.

"I know that Eva tends to be very outgoing and bubbly while Mike is calm, cool and collected," Suzy Wilburn, the director of admissions and graduate services at Southeastern Guide Dogs, told The Ledger. "The two complement each other perfectly. The unique part is that their dogs have also been the yin and the other's yang, which makes for a very happy household."

The Ledger Reports the couple's two black labs are also a perfect match. Sandy is more high-strung, while Romeo is calm and laid back. The couple said the dogs have changed their lives in every way, big and small.

"Sandy and Romeo are basically our right hands," said Mike Truelock, a certified massage therapist. "You find your trust and loyalty with these dogs really quick. There is a lot of training that goes into getting the dogs into the shape they are in today. They wear special harnesses when we are out in public when they are in work mode but when we bring them home they are not in the harnesses."

Eva Truelock said having a guide dog helped her get two master's degrees, one in counseling and another in visual disabilities.

"Having a guide dog meant the difference between going to college in Orlando and staying at home," said Eva Truelock. "I didn't know the first thing about using a cane. How did I expect to go to college by myself and cross campus?"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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