Happy New Year to all who read this blog. Thanks for reading and letting me know how much these words are appreciated. Whenever I receive a message from one of my blog readers, I’m thrilled, so keep them coming.
No resolutions for this lady, just a continuation of doing the best I can now and in the future. 2015 has a lot of good things in store for me, including vacations and planning for community events and making presentations. Perhaps the most challenging and exciting of these is going back to Guiding Eyes for the Blind to train with a new dog. Yes, folks, it’s really happening – Verona is now 8 and is retiring. We have a party scheduled for her on February 13th at my job and she is only working part-time now anyway. I’ve even been adjusting to my other mobility tool, Stick Stickley, aka, the white cane. For a temporary way of getting around, its fine, but I wouldn’t want it replacing working with a dog guide.
I do feel a little guilty about retiring Verona but I also know that guilt is unfounded and unrealistic and maybe even comes from doubting myself and the decision itself. One thing I’ve learned from this is that our animals rely on us to make these decisions for them. It’s part of the partnership and commitment of sharing our lives and trust. Whether it’s making the decision to let them go due to age or illness, or fostering or re-homing them, or retiring a working dog and relying on a younger, more active dog, we are charged with making the tough decisions and ultimately living with those decisions.
Much soul searching has been going on since late last year when I noticed Verona’s pace slowing, her hesitation going up and down steps, and her lack of stamina during the summer months. With some assistance from Guiding Eyes we did what we could to see if there was any possible way to increase her pace but in the end, we decided it was time to retire her and I submitted the re-training paperwork in September 2014. Class begins on March 8 and I will be staying on campus until the 21st. I am in the accelerated training program and will have 2/1 instruction. Once home, I will receive one on one instruction for 5 days of home instruction. I don’t think I’ll need five days of home follow-up but I’m glad it’s there for me if I need it.
Will I get a male or female, black or yellow? Don’t know yet but I’m thinking a lot about it and wonder if my witchy intuition will allow me a peek at the possibilities, maybe in a dream or premonition? Hmmm, never know. All I know right now is that I am looking forward to it and know I’ve done right by my loving, loyal, sweet girl, Verona.