Category Archives: LOMAX

More Details, as Promised

What an insane weekend it’s been.

Nothing about Lomax has been conventional or expected, thus far. I received him a few days after his one-year birthday, not as a wee pup. I had been assuming all along that I would get a black Lab, but he was yellow. I thought I’d only be fostering him for about six months, but I had him for ten. I thought it would be easier to start with an “older” puppy. Ha.

Likewise, I always thought that if I received the news of his impending graduation, I would spend the rest of my day making phone calls, telling everyone I knew in just the right order, posting some eloquent announcement on the blog, et cetera. However, I got the phone call about ten minutes before I was due to leave my apartment for a weekend getaway. So I left a voicemail for Joanna, put up a slapdash “guess what” on the blog, shot a quick e-mail to my puppy group leaders, flung everything in the car and spent the next hour or so trying not to cause an accident while calling people from my decrepit cell phone while I was sitting in traffic on the 405 freeway.

Not exactly the big hoorah I had planned, but it was a mad rush.

And you know what else? There were a few people who didn’t think he’d ever be a guide dog. And by that I mean there were a few people who TOLD me so. One person looked at him one day, as Lomax was doing his best to “sit” at the end of the leash (which meant tap dancing and wiggling his butt so hard that he couldn’t actually remain seated), and said to me flat-out, “He’s never gonna make it. He’s NEVER gonna make it.” Who knows how many more people simply never gave voice to their thoughts?

Lomax’s exuberance and wiggly distraction (dogs, people, whatever) was challenging and frustrating and yes, at times, discouraging. But we never gave up. I knew he wanted to work, and I knew there was someone out there who would need him and love him and give him an important job to do.

That someone is Barbara. I won’t tell you her last name or the name of the Arizona town where she lives, just to preserve her privacy. But I will tell you that she leads a busy, active life, and that she has two kids. What could be more perfect for Mr. Wigglepants? I can’t wait to meet her.

And oh, yes…I believe I have also neglected to mention that next Sunday’s graduation is going to be a family affair. Lomax and his beloved brother Liam will BOTH be looking handsome in harness, with their new partners.

Big Fat News

He’s matched. He’s going to be a guide dog. Guide Dog Lomax!

I can’t tell you how excited and emotional I am right now, and how very proud of him I am, and how grateful that this moment — which has been my fervent prayer since the day I first saw his happy little face on September 24, 2005 — has finally come.

Of course, I’m about to leave for a weekend trip at the moment and can’t pause to write my usual course of lengthy purple prose…but all of you have been so supportive of me throughout my time with Lomax, I had to tell you!

I’ll have more news for you later this weekend or early next week, and I’ll certainly post a million words and pictures after graduation a week from this Sunday.

Thanks in advance for the many comments that are certain to follow this post!

Postcards From the Moof

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! I’ve been using my time off from work to visit my family in Fresno — my parents’ dog was quite pleased to see I arrived sans canine this year — and to do some projects around the apartment.

A few of Lomax’s classmates have sent postcards home in the last few weeks, so I’ve been watching my mail box. I’m happy to report that today, my little man has finally checked in:

Dear Mom,

Hi everybody! I just wanted to give you an update from Guide Dog College. I’ve been learning lots and we get to go to new and exciting places almost every day! We rode the subway the other day and worked around downtown Los Angeles.

Some of my friends have decided to go home, but I think I want to stay and try to learn more. Hope you all are doing well!

Lomax

I’m so proud of him. Just thinking about him in his harness, looking all handsome and serious (Lomax? SERIOUS?), makes me smile.

Lomax Update: Ten Weeks Down

It’s been ten weeks since turn-in day. Can you believe it? And I just returned from my mailbox with the following prize:

Dear Mom,

It’s me again from Guide Dog College. I’ve learned left and right turns and how to cross streets safely. Soon we will start walking in busier areas with more to watch out for.

But it’s not all hard work. I get to play with my friends every day — and when it’s hot out we love to splash around in the pools.

I hope you guys are doing well!

Wags and licks,

Lomax

There are no guarantees, of course, but every postcard is a milestone. Keep praying!

That Not-So-Fresh Feeling

There is now a can of air freshener sitting by the telephone. And our living room smells vaguely of apple-scented dog farts.

Little. Yellow. Different.


I wish I’d been able to hug and kiss him when he looked like this! He’s like the anti-Harvey!

Joanna, Lomax’s previous puppy raiser, kept a page for him on Dogster. Check it out if you’d like to see more of his puppy pictures and diary.

Welcome to the Family!


We’re very excited that Lomax has three littermates in the South Bay puppy raisers group. This photo, taken at the annual September picnic (before I even knew my little yellow dog was coming to live with me), shows brother Liam and sisters Kandy and Luca.

Official Personhood Status

I was putting Lomax’s puppy jacket on him outside the building this morning when a co-worker breezed past. He was talking on his cell phone, but nodded in acknowledgment and shot out a quick morning greeting:

“Hi guys.”

Would it have been the plural if I’d been accompanied by a cat? A parrot? A monkey? A hamster? Or is it just Lomax’s job that makes him seem more like another person?

Working Class Dog

Lomax’s first day work with me went very well; there was nary a peep (nor a woof) out of him all day, and he met all the dog lovers in the office, greeting calmly for the most part.

Snoozing under the desk is an enviable job description.

He did get a bit antsy in the afternoon, probably because even though he went to highschool with Joanna, I’m guessing he got to get up and stretch his legs every hour or so and was home earlier than 6:30 P.M. I can’t help but think I’m spoiling my co-workers and setting them up for trauma when, after Lomax, I start bringing a whiny, immature, needy 8-week-old puppy to the office.

Blue and Gold and Furry All Over

Lomax is now a Bruin. I took him to UCLA today, to walk him around campus and experience a little college life (and no, I did not take him to a frat party). Unlike Janna, who is afraid of bronze lions, Lomax had no qualms at all about being asked to pose for a photo with the big statue in the middle of Bruin Walk.

We surveyed campus from the top of Drake Stadium, traversed Royce quad and ducked inside Powell Library, stuck our noses into the Kerckhoff Coffee House for a quick java sniff, and descended Janss Steps (though I couldn’t expect him to skip the sixth step…hope that doesn’t mean he’ll end up an extra year in guide dog training). Lomax was well behaved in the student store, and if it hadn’t been $25, I would have bought him a blue-and-gold UCLA Bruins dog collar.

He even sat calmly while we listened to the UCLA Bruin Marching Band drumline warm up outside Pauley Pavilion. I, on the other hand, could hardly prevent myself from marking time during the cadence….