Seven years ago this week I brought home a bouncing, happy, waggy, excitable 34KG of labrador cross Retriever. He was my first guide and he was my first real responsibility.
We’d done two weeks at the hotel and it was looking like we’d qualify in the next week or so.
Anyone who is a guide dog owner and tells you that those weeks of training are not emotionally and physically draining are lying. My instructor drove us home and Bailey skidded around our living room as we had laminate flooring down. I remember the next day, dad and I went to pick out a rug for the dog. Not for any of the human occupants of our house but he didn’t want the pup to slip.
I found that first weekend so hard. He struggled spending and I questioned if I was cut out for guide dog ownership. By the Monday though, after our walk with my instructor, I knew that whatever guide dog ownership entailed, I’d deal with it because walking with that dog by my side was the greatest feeling I could have ever wished for.
Bailey has worked as a qualified guide for almost seven years now and after the ups and downs of last year, I’m so grateful to be at this point with him. Whatever happens with his guiding career now is a bonus. I reached the seven year mark with him and any longer we get together is an absolute bonus and ultimate privilege.
To celebrate Bailey’s seven years of dedication to being my guide, I’m going to post something every day. Ranging from videos, pictures, funny stories, maybe a poem.
So keep checking back for seven Years Ago This Week… blogs. 🙂