Those of you who know me “in real life” know that it’s been a rough few years of transition for me and my family. I won’t go into detail; suffice it to say that there’s been a great deal of loss involved, different kinds, of varying significance. Along with some good things, of course — which sums up most of human experience, right? But change is hard for me, and as you can see by the dates of my last two entries from a YEAR ago, in which I made that grandiose “Hooray! I’m back!” statement, I’ve had trouble returning to blogging here and to writing in general, despite my deep desire to do so. It’s been a battle to work through some other losses in order to regain my momentum.
But some losses are planned. Beautiful losses that become gain for someone else.
I learned yesterday that my sweet, lovable, silly, cuddly, wookiee-noise-making, concerned-old-man-look-on-his-face Jethro is going to be a guide dog. I’m so proud of him! He worked hard. We worked hard. My friends who finished his puppy training worked hard.
Unfortunately, we don’t get a graduation ceremony. He’s going to be placed in-home with his new partner, who lives out of state, so Jethro will be leaving GDA in about a week and a half to make the journey to his new home. I am doing my best to arrange a flight to California in time to see him before he goes.
But here’s the kicker: Jethro’s new partner is not unfamiliar to me. While she and I have never met, she is an experienced guide dog handler whose last dog, recently retired, was also raised by my dear friends. They have a good relationship with her, and I know Jethro will be in excellent, loving hands, and I will hopefully hear about his many adventures to come. Once again, I praise God for putting my plans to shame with His better ones.
Congratulations to Guide Dog Jethro and his new partner! May you travel many miles and many years together with a bond of joy, a sense of adventure, and an unbreakable commitment to each other.
This pic was taken in May of 2011, just a few months after I moved to PA, when I returned to SoCal for a short visit and took him to UCLA for the day. The last time I saw him, at his turn-in last February, he looked huge to me — and he was only 18 months old! I hear he is absolutely enormous now. If I make it out to California in time to see him off, you can bet I will shower him with hugs and kisses and bellyrubs, and I will post photos here. Otherwise, this goodbye kiss will have to do.
I love you, good dog. Be good eyes.