It doesn’t happen often. But when it does I’m in trouble. Big trouble.
Today it happened for the purest of reasons. Mom opened the front door to greet my aunt Morgan and I ran. To greet her, not to run away. But it makes all of the people in my life so nervous when I get outside without my leash. I forget this when I get excited. I wish there was a way for me to tell them there’s no way I could do it. I’m not going anywhere, at least not on purpose. Everything along my path in life has led me here, to my forever home. I would never leave it behind.
So I don’t know how Elroy did it. From puppyhood until a few months ago, he lived with a friend of my mom’s named Melissa. She took care of him, trained him and (most importantly) she loved him. A lot. And she still does. But Elroy doesn’t live with her anymore.
Now he lives with a new person named Catalina. He was paired with her through the Leader Dogs for the Blind program, which provides guide dogs to people who are blind and visually impaired to enhance their mobility, independence and quality of life. Melissa (and her husband Daniel) were puppy raiser volunteers as part of this program. It was among the best – and hardest – things they’ve ever done.
I know Melissa and Daniel miss Elroy. And he misses them. But he has a new purpose now: to bring joy from the ground up to the life of Catalina. To be her eyes. And to nurture her heart. She was blind, but now she sees. Elroy is an inspiration.
Because I certainly couldn’t do it. Everything in my past has led me to this point, to my forever home, with my forever people. They are my purpose in life. Purpose is one of those powerful things that brings focus to even the cloudiest of situations.
“True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose,” suggested American heroine Helen Keller. Melissa and Daniel did a truly selfless thing in raising Elroy. But they had purpose. As does Elroy. As do I. Before I met my people, I was blind. But now I see.
This post is dedicated to the wonderful program that is Leader Dogs for the Blind.
All of my best to Elroy, Melissa and Daniel, and Catalina.
and well done to Melissa and Daniel. It must be so hard to do this
I can’t imagine. I don’t think mom could do it, in spite of her love of canines.
Elroy has a super strength inside him that you and I will never understand, W. It takes a magical dog to do that work and magical people to help him learn how. We’ll stick with bringing our own magic to our families. Thanks goodness there are dogs like Elroy and people like Melissa and Daniel.
Love and licks,
You have a similar spark, whether or not you realize it. Your work with the Veterans is truly an inspiration all its own. Keep shining bright!
Wiley that’s wonderful, that Elroy will help Catalina now. All my best wishes to both I hope they will be a super team.
Me too….all signs point to that they will be, too. Though I suppose his puppy raiser wouldn’t mind too much if it didn’t work out. But Elroy is truly a called servant and I applaud him for it. 🙂
Lots of love,
Just as you say that everything in your life led you to your present forever home, the same is true for Elroy. He has now found his forever home. I was a guide dog puppy in training, but my destiny turned out to not be in that direction. My destiny was to return to my puppy raiser and find my forever home there. We all have different journeys to our forever homes. And are joyful when we find our purposes there.
Oh wow! I didn’t know this about you, dear friend. I’m happy to hear your story ended as it should, even if it wasn’t the way the path was initially laid out. Wasn’t it our dear Robert Frost who encouraged us to take the path less travelled? That’s how I like to live anyway. 🙂
Lots of love to you!!
We all have our different histories and stories to tell. That’s what makes life so interesting and fun. I love stories!
You’re right about that…sometimes I wonder whether stories inspire life, or life inspires stories. Perhaps I will never know. 😉
Lots of love,
The talents of you dogs, Wyles, are stunning and they always involve service, whether it be companionship, as eyes for the blind, or the ones who can sense an attack coming on and get their people to sit or lay down before it hits, or the ones who can sense an I.E.D in the desert or town, or find our missing. We are blessed and to the people who help raise and train, we are more than blessed. What gifts they give to the rest of us.
My people came home from baby class tonight talking about how I can be a service dog of my own type when the little person comes home. I doubt I’ll be able to tolerate any sort of trouble or distress he or she should encounter, and certainly will bring it to the attention of mom and dad if they haven’t noticed it yet. I welcome this opportunity to serve my family with excitement and joy in my heart. 🙂
Lots of love,
I always admire people who look after puppies for these sort of charities.
The world is a better place because of people (and pets) like these, who make sacrifices for others. I’m humbled when I think about it. 🙂