WAGS EVERYONE! I am the guide dog my mom speaks of. I am a 65-pound yellow lab that often gets mistaken for a golden retriever. My path to the guide dog career was slightly different than it is for other guide dogs. Instead of being born at a guide dog school, I was originally bred to be a show dog and spent the first six months of life at Anthem Labradors, a kennel owned by a woman who breeds show dogs. But I wasn’t cut out to be a show dog for some reason and so was donated to Occupaws Guide Dog Association, a small program based out of Madison, Wisconsin that trains guide dog handlers in their home and community rather than going to a boarding program far away like The Seeing Eye. Mom will tell you more about her reasons for choosing this program in the blog.
In the same way Mom doesn’t get sad about the fact that she cannot see, I don’t mind that I didn’t get to be an official show dog. I don’t think strutting down a runway looking pretty would have been nearly as rewarding as the opportunity I have to help Mom travel with more grace and independence. I have also gone above and beyond my job description and helped Mom make friends by attracting people to her with my laid-back personality and a face that screams “ain’t I cute!”
When I am not guiding Mom or making friends with anyone who notices me, I am an occasional contributor to this blog. But I’m not really in to the whole “pursuing opportunities” thing like Mom is, unless you want to count the opportunity to steal uneaten cat food when the humans aren’t paying attention or clean the kitchen floor after Mom, Grandma or Grandpa has cooked something. But if I am not needed for work, and there is no food that needs to be cleaned up, I am perfectly content to sleep.