Paws for Thought on Being a Calendar Girl

The picture shows a calendar for the month of October 2023. The top half of the calendar is a photograph of a happy Golden Retriever dog sitting on a runway. The dog is wearing a harness, indicating that it is an assistance dog. Behind the dog, there is a small white airplane with a single propeller. The background also shows a clear blue sky and some airport buildings. Below the photograph, there is a caption that reads:I never thought I would be a jet-setter. Having an Assistance Dog means I can visit colleagues in different cities. It is also attributed to Fiji - Guide Dog to Lois Strachan.

Hello everyone, it’s me – Fiji!

I’m so excited! It is finally October – the month where I am the calendar model for the 2023 SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind calendar.

I remember I told you that I was going to be a calendar model, back when the photographs were taken. But back then I had no idea how long I would have to wait to see the picture hanging on the wall at home, where everyone can see how beautiful I am.

Of course, all the guide and service dogs in the rest of the calendar are also beautiful, but this is my favourite. And my mom’s favourite. And my dad’s favourite. And Aunty Claire’s favourite as well – oh yes, Aunty Claire came to stay with us last week when my parents went to Durban, wherever that is. So it was actually Aunty Claire who got to turn the calendar to reveal my picture on 1 October.

I’m just sad that October only has 31 days. If it were longer, my picture would be on the wall for extra days. But I guess it will only be fair for November’s dogs – my friends, the adorable G-litter pups-in-training, to have their time in the spotlight, too, when November rolls around. Besides, it is such a cute picture with all of them sitting on movie theatre seats in their jackets, smiling at the camera.

Oh sorry, that’s for December – I think I accidentally turned over two pages with my muzzle, narrowly avoiding getting a paper cut on my delicate nose. November is my other friends, pup-in-training Dusty and Luigi, who is a service dog. Who are also very cute.

But still… Even if it won’t be there forever, I’m very happy that people all over South Africa will have a whole month to look at my photograph. Because Tania Robbertze did a wonderful job capturing exactly how cute I am, if I say so myself!

Photo credit: Gerard Dehlan

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