Happy Retirement, Brego!

Posted 9/21/2015 12:57:00 PM
At the beginning of September, those nearest and dearest to Brego got together at Sesquicentennial State Park to celebrate his retirement. After 5 years of faithful service to Ann Humphries, Brego earned his retirement to his puppyhood home! While together, Ann and Brego visited 22 South Carolina State Parks. Because of his accomplishments, we decided to name Brego an honorary Ultimate Outsider!

We feel that Regional Chief Paul McCormack best summed up Brego's impact on us all: 

A guide dog is trained to provide safety to a visually impaired handler.  When Brego met Ann in 2010 neither of them could have predicted what was in store for them. They match dogs to lifestyles so Ann got an athletic, active dog.  Through the years they have had many adventures together and over the past several years state parks have been excited to be a part of it.  

We first became aware of their presence in parks when Ann registered for a waterfall hike and asked if assistance animals were allowed.  Our ranger, Jeff Atkins, said sure, but was still shocked when Ann showed up with a guide dog.  Together they ventured through streams, muddy trails and wet rocks, but they made it. The duo reminded us as a park service that our parks are a place for everyone and can be a place of inspiration for all.  

Soon after that they became a fixture with Sparkle, Katherine and others as they experienced state parks together on their Ultimate Outsider journey. The challenge, of course, is to visit all 47 parks and collect a stamp at each site to document you were there.  Some people rush in and rush out, but not this group.  Ann and Brego have stayed in 7 state park cabins and visited over 22 parks together, from Hunting Island to Devils Fork and many places in between.  They have been to historic homes and waterfalls, listened to the sounds of a bobcat at Table Rock, and the babble of an artesian well at Aiken.  Brego diligently watched as her friends led her into Horseshoe Falls while he sat on the sidelines, kept her safe on slippery mud and rocks and hiked in places you would never expect to see a person with a guide dog.

The South Carolina State Park Service would like to recognize Brego as he retires from service and moves away.  He has showed us that state parks are for everyone.  That being an Ultimate Outsider is more than stamping a book 47 times. It is about being excited about exploring our state, trying things you may never have thought about doing, and not letting anything keep you from getting outside. Thank you Brego, for your service, not only to Ann, but to all of us! 

A big salute to you, Brego!