Gish is a Guide Dog Puppy
that my wife and I raised from May 2002 to July 2003. She is a beautiful
yellow lab who came to us from the Guide Dog School for the Blind (www.guidedogs.com
in San Rafael. As a Guide Dog puppy raiser, our job was to train her to be
a good dog and socialize her in all types of public situations. That meant
we "had" to take here everywhere. The Green Jacket she wears is
like magic - it is a free pass that lets's her go wherever normal dogs aren't allowed.
As a puppy, Gish has been everywhere,
including some of the finest restaurants in SF, some beautiful wineries in
Napa, a number of our National Parks, and even a cross-country flight on
AmericaWest. She was a wonderful puppy who loved ice cubes, car rides,
walks on Union Street, and sticking her nose in my ear to wake me up. And
she was friendly to a fault -- especially with people and other dogs. In
fact, some might call her dominant.
Unfortunately, we couldn't stop her from growing.
Gish's puppy days expired when she was 16 months old and was called up to the Guide Dogs School
to begin her formal training as a guide dog. There were some concerns that
she was too much of a happy dog to be a proper guide dog. But we've just been notified
that on Dec 13th she will graduate! Gish has been matched with a blind
person from Huntsville Ontario, a little bit north of Toronto.
Good luck Gish, and we love you and we
hope to see you again in about 4 years when you retire.
Apparently, Gish did not take too well to the Canadian winters.
We recently received word from Guidedogs that Gish had been acting up.
She liked the snow, but apparently not the cold, rain or the mud; nor did she like to share time with the two other dogs in her new household.
As Gish grew up as a San Francisco city dog, she was not probably accustomed to the "elements."
Plus, I am certain that she was not happy unless she was the center of attention.
Ultimately, I think she just went on strike and refused to work.
Guidedogs took her back to HQ to fix her attitude, but I think they decided that Gish was just too strong-willed.
As a result, she was "career-changed" and dropped from active duty. It happens sometimes.
I think Gish knew what she was doing, because now she is living with my mother-in-law in sunny San Diego.
Word has it that she is enjoying life as a "civilian", and still up to her old tricks.