When I started this blog, my Seeing Eye dog at the time was Pippen, a darling little lab/golden cross. She is mentioned often in the posts during 2012—2013. Then Pippen retired with a family on a farm, where she is enjoying the retired life to the fullest. After Pippen was another gorgeous golden, but I had him for only six months, because it wasn’t a good match. His idea of working didn’t match mine, so we parted ways in December of that year, and he was assigned to a person whose lifestyle was a better match.
Then along came Dora, the love of my life. Dora and I met at The Seeing Eye on February 4 on one of the coldest and snowiest days of the year. Even though the winds were harsh and the footing was treacherous on the ice and snow, it was the best training I have experienced. It really tested her strengths and abilities. She learned to slow down when she saw ice up ahead, to find the marrow paths that were carved out of snow banks that lined the street crossings, and to be cautious when the shoveld sidewalks weren’t really wide enough for a dog and a person.
She too is an adorable lab/golden cross, but bigger than Pippen and much smarter than her immediate predecessor. Her work is so impressive and her appearance so charming that strangers are constantly commenting on her beauty and performance.
She was 19 months old when we first became a team.
At this writing, she is almost four, has filled out to be 77 pounds, and is still the most athletic dog I’ve ever had. She loves to work and still pulls so hard that sometimes I have to jog to keep up, but she adores playing ball in the back yard. Now that she is a mature dog, she can wait patiently during meetings, church, or when I’m writing, but when it’s time to go, she’s up and ready for another adventure. For more about Dora, my explorer, see Meet Dora, posted on February 22, 2014.