Retired Guide Dog, Video Star Nigel Passes Away

Lorri Bernson with her late guide dog Nigel, right, and her current guide dog Carter.

Nigel, the golden retriever who starred, along with his partner Lorri Bernson, in a number of Guide Dogs of America’s (GDA) educational films passed away on August 14, 2015.

Nigel and Bernson graduated from GDA in 2002 and worked as a guide dog team until Nigel retired in 2010.

“I was given the greatest gift I’ve ever been given in my life at a time that I really needed it most,” said Bernson, a member of GDA’s Board of Directors and the school’s media and community liaison.

Nigel and Bernson introduced thousands of people to GDA which provides blind and visually impaired individuals across the U.S. and Canada with professionally trained guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge.

Nigel was featured in the films “A Walk In the Park,” which teaches children about guide dog work and the school, and “Just Like Any Other Day,” which is shown during tours of GDA and at many speaking engagements. Through the films, Nigel continues to represent Guide Dogs of America and the independence and loving companionship guide dogs provide to our graduates.

“Together, Lorri and Nigel touched countless lives,” said Guide Dogs of America Director Dale Hartford. “We have benefitted almost as much from Nigel’s partnership with Lorri as she has.”

Following his retirement as a working guide dog, his puppy raisers, Mary Beth Murrill and Dave Durham adopted Nigel. He enjoyed the rest of his years as a cherished member of their family. Nigel was 15 years old.