I know I don’t usually post on a Wednesday, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you hear my reason for doing so – today is my and my amazing beautiful clever guide dog Fiji’s second anniversary!
“Wow,” I hear you say, “Two years?” And I know exactly what you mean. In some ways it feels like it was only yesterday that I found my brand new guide dog curled up asleep on my bed on the very day I met her – as an aside, I was chatting to one of the trainers in the kitchen of the training centre at the time, and had no clue that Fiji was making herself so at home in my room. At the same time, we work so well as a team now that it feels like we’ve been partnered forever.
In the two short years we’ve been working together I already have so many stories about Fiji and the things she and I have done… that I could probably devote and entire book to her, instead of the mere chapter I dedicated to my previous dogs, Leila and Eccles in A Different Way of Seeing. I don’t think Fiji’s done more than they did, but I’m living the adventures with Fiji in the here and now, where those with Ecce and Leila are drawn from my memories.
Here’s just a few special moments from my time with Fiji: there was the time I got back to the training centre after leaving Fiji there overnight and was met by a young blonde ball of lunatic Labrador- in one short week we’d already bonded that much. Or the time a pesky squirrel tormented Fiji by throwing twigs at her thus initiating a state of all-out war between Fiji and squirrels. Or the windy day I was trying to take advantage of a lull in both wind and traffic so we could cross Main Road , only to have Fiji flatly refuse to move because I had forgotten to give her a treat for finding the crossing.
From the way she constantly glances back over her shoulder when we’re walking to make sure I’m still there, to her bouncing down the hallway to pounce either her doggy sister Emily or me just prior to one of our walks. From the complete and utter exuberance with which she greets each morning to the contentment I sense from her as she curls up and falls asleep next to me every night. , From the intense focus she brings to both her work as a guide dog and her times of joyful play, Fiji has become an integral part of my life. Nor do I think I’ll ever lose the sense of wonder with which I contemplate our partnership as guide dog and human partner – she’s simply that awesome!
Happy anniversary, precious baby girl! May we look forward to many more years of discovering the world together!