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Tune, Lakeshore’s CCO

Welcome Tune, Lakeshore’s Chief Canine Officer!

Trained as a facility dog, Tune is a two year old Golden Labrador. She comes to Lakeshore from America’s Vet Dogs and the Guide Dog Foundation, bringing wags of encouragement, friendliness and motivation.

Facility Dog vs. Service Dog

Tune, a golden lab, sits in front of a flower bush outside.

Tune’s training is extensive and differs, as does her role, from service dog training. A service dog is typically trained to serve one individual with a specific disability. These dogs are not to be petted or touched while they are working, and they wear a vest clearly identifying them as a service dog. Facility dogs are working dogs who are trained for specific duties in facilities with multiple clients or members. Since you may encounter Tune as well as service dogs at Lakeshore, here are some important things to remember.

Graphic with dos and don'ts of interacting with service dogs and handlers

What if I don’t like dogs?

Some people may feel less comfortable with animals or may have allergies, so being around Tune isn’t for everyone. Don’t worry, just let us know. We respect your preferences and will work to make sure you don’t interact with Tune.

Who coordinates Tune’s work and where does she live when she is not working at Lakeshore?

Four women wearing navy Lakeshore shirts sit with Tune at Lakeshore's entrance

Human Resources Director Debbie Smith is responsible for the facility dog program. Tune’s primary handler is Rec & Athletics Coordinator Lori Watkins. Lori coordinates Tune’s activities, and Tune lives with her. Lori, and handler #2, Aquatics Coordinator Emily Mallard, have trained with the America’s Vet Dogs organization.

Want Tune to participate in an event or activity? Just email .

What does Tune do?

Tune is a very capable dog, with lots of potential to support members, staff and programs.

We are continuing to refine Tune’s tasks. Some possible duties include:

  • Greet members at various times during the day
  • Attend and encourage participation at classes
  • Walk the track with members
  • Attend employee activities: zoom meetings, staff events, board meetings, etc.
  • Attend camps and special events
  • Be part of athletic practices
  • Retrieve items for members like balls, goggles, pool noodles, etc.
  • Join staff who are giving tours
  • Visit Children’s of Alabama facility on our campus
  • Help with fitness personal training sessions for motivation and encouragement
  • Give high fives to athletes leaving for tournaments
  • Assist with Lakeshore training camps
  • Be part of send off celebrations for Paralympic teams heading to games
  • Attend youth Halloween/holiday parties
  • Assist members with pushing elevator buttons or accessible doors
  • Attend local outreach opportunities with staff