I am pleased to introduce you to Louie, a purebred 22-month old Golden Retriever, who was specifically trained and matched to my needs and personality by Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. If you’ve been following my blog for many months, you know the anticipation of receiving this precious gift.
Training in California
I flew out to the west coast on October 28. The very next day Guide Dogs for the Blind came to my room (which is right on their campus) and introduced me to the softest, sweetest bundle of fur, who looked me in the eyes connecting his heart to mine.
Together we trained for two weeks, bonding with each other, learning the correct commands, and trusting each other to maneuver the streets of San Rafael, managing intersections, going around obstructions, and dealing with distractions. He was a pro at all of that…not so for me! I had so much to learn from him, from my instructors, from the trainers, and from other students that were in my class. The picture of Louie is in the hallway of my dorm, with a special display of a Braille saying by Helen Keller, with rocks strung to form the words.
So many people were instrumental in preparing this outstanding dog who will be my guide, my freedom, my wings, my trusted friend. The one I truly thank for raising Louie for over a year since he was 8 weeks old, exposing him to numerous situations, implanting her love into his heart, and giving all her time and energy is Katherine Juhl. She now is part of our family as Louie’s first “momma”.
The first day home for Louie was exciting for him! He was raised in Texas and California, so he had very little exposure to snow. Wouldn’t you know it, when he awoke to his first day in our home in Colorado, it snowed….just for him! He loved running, pouncing and snow-plowing with his nose in the fluffy whiteness! To see him in action, just click on the arrow below.
Louie and I are already a team. He knows my moves, my commands, and I know him. When his harness is on, he knows he’s working. But take that harness off, and he’s a playful, spunky, energetic puppy. I love that about him. Together we’ll work at three public schools in Fort Collins and Timnath. And we’ll make our community a little more joyful with Louie’s smile!
I thank Guide Dogs for the Blind for this remarkable 4-legged gift that has already changed my life, given me hope, and helped me sprout my wings to fly on new adventures!
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving,
Kathy & Louie