What I have learned from dogs

Posts tagged ‘adoptingaretiredguidedog’

My Berry

Berry was a retired Guide Dog I adopted when I worked at The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. She was an 8 year old black Labrador retriever with skin issues when she entered my life.

Berry taught me that you have to adapt to what life brings you. She worked as a Guide dog(and she was a good one) and was with her Guide Dog user through some rough times. I was working in the kennel when she came in for medical reasons(skin/allergies). I sat with her because she was frightened. She had become very cautious about meeting new people. I sat with her and we just connected. We connected immediately. It was like she just knew she could trust me. I kept her in my office because it was a quiet place for her. Berry would get very anxious in a kennel run and knock over her water bucket and make a mess in her kennel. She did not like the tight confined space.

When she was retired due to allergies I jumped at the chance to adopt her. after all we had this immediate connection that only another dog person can truly understand. So on July 4th 2002 i brought her home to my apartment. She loved living with Xena(my dachshund) and quickly settled in. We didnt always have use of the yard so Berry and I would go for lots of walks. Berry adapted to apartment life and to living with cats. She was a sweet soul who enjoyed going to the local park and running around. We did not play fetch as she hated it. Berry also hated the water. Odd I know, for a Lab. But that was Berry. Berry was great company though and we could just sit quietly together.

I took Berry on vacation to New Hampshire multiple times and she loved it. We would go hiking in the mountains on the trails. She also enjoyed going camping on Long Island with me. We would take many walks down close to the beach.

Berry would come to work with me at the Guide Dog Foundation on Sundays. She always had a great time. Riding in the car was one of her favorite activities. . She would enjoy playtime in the exercise yard and walks during lunchtime as well as hanging out with me in my office.

We moved into our house in 2004 and once again Berry adapted very quickly. The yard was perfect for her and Xena to run around in. WE added another retired guide dog to our family after moving into the house and Berry and Rosie became best buddies.

With every change Berry adapted quickly and enjoyed the change. This is what I learned from her. Berry and I were connected to each other, we really bonded.

Sadly I had to help Berry cross over the rainbow bridge in 2007.I still miss her deeply.