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Freeland dog graduates from assistance program

Barbara Guetlin poses with her golden retriever Max. Max is a recent graduate of the Summit Assistance Dogs program, which trains dogs to provide mobility assistance and therapy for people living with disabilities.  - Photo courtesy of Melissa Barran
Barbara Guetlin poses with her golden retriever Max. Max is a recent graduate of the Summit Assistance Dogs program, which trains dogs to provide mobility assistance and therapy for people living with disabilities.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Melissa Barran

Freeland resident Barbara Guetlin is the proud owner of Max, one of one of Summit Assistance Dogs’ newest graduates.

Guetlin and Max’s partnership was one of eight celebrated during the graduation ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 12 in Bellevue.

Max received training at Summit as a professional therapy dog and now assists Guetlin, who works as psychiatric nurse practitioner. A golden retriever, Max helps Guetlin’s clients by providing comfort and companionship during hard times.

“Max brings great joy to both my clients and my co-workers,” Guetlin said in a news release. “He gives back so much more than I can ever give him, and I am so grateful to have him.”

Summit, an Anacortes-based non-profit organization, provides highly-skilled mobility, hearing and professional therapy dogs for people living with disabilities or people in need of a therapy dog.

Each is trained for about two years, depending on the dog, and is provided at no cost to the person applying.

“We at Summit get such great joy from knowing we help change people’s lives,” said Sue Meinzinger, founder and executive director at Summit, in a news release. “Our clients who receive our dogs inspire us again and again. We have matched, trained and graduated 74 of these life-changing teams, and we still love what we do.”

 

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