Monday, January 27, 2014


Happiness is a very transient feeling.

You may be happy with your team winning a Superbowl.

You may be happy with the love of your partner.

You may be happy because you have a dream job.

I am happy because I have a couple of these things. But also because Leif is just a great dog.

He is, at this very moment sunning himself outside in my back yard. He loves the sun, he comes to me occasionally warm, soft and not a little dusty. It is the last week of January and warm enough for my crazy guide dog to sun bathe.

There are times when working Leif can be a frustration. He is very intelligent and quick to pick up on my moments of distraction.

But when we get to work together in harmony then it is the most wonderful experience. Working with a dog so closely is one of the greatest causes of happiness in my life, did you notice Life is an anagram of Leif? 

Many guide dog users talk of a life changing bond between themselves and their dog. As we come up to our three month anniversary, I can really see this bond developing.

For me then today, happiness is my wonderful wife, my great job and a short black Labrador Retriever named Leif. My guide dog.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leif Gets the Presedential Treatment.

Leif, My Guide Dog and I, Stand beside
Airforce 1 at Castle Air Museum, Merced CA.

This weekend Leif, my wife and I went one a trip by train to Castle Air Museum near Merced CA.

The museum is located just North of Merced, CA, close to Highway 99. The base was once part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the home to several squadrons of B-52 Bombers.

A few weeks ago the museum took delivery of a DC-9 which was used as a short haul, Presidential  aircraft from the early 1980's until the early 2000;s, when the fleet was decomissioned. The planes carried some Presidents including Ronald Reagan, this particular aircraft was a favorite of his and so Castle Air Museum was chosen for its final home for that reason.

Leif is the first Guide Dog to have boarded the aircraft, and was well behaved during his walk through. On leaving the aircraft he noted the strong aroma of Jelly Beans.

We also got to see one of the bases more familiar residents a B-52G of Strategic Air Command.

a life with blindness guide dog b-52
Add capLeif and I stand beside a B-52

Beside seeing the air museum Leif also had a great day meeting lots of people who commented on his good work and behavior. We also met some people who talked to us about their experiences as puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Leif had especially warm wags for those people.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New year everyone.

The first of the month is medicine day for Guide Dogs. So this morning started with a grooming for Leif, he is a lovely dog to groom. He just stands still and often leans against my legs as I brush him. We have a rubber brush which picks off surface hair then a two sided brush with long teeth on one side and soft bristles on the other.

After the rubber brush, I use the long hard bristles to pull out some of the underlying loose fur then as a final polish the soft bristles to add that extra lustre to his coat.

After grooming today, being the first of the month, Leif had his medicine, Frontline for flea and tick prevention and Heartguard for prevention of Heartworm.

Now he is all groomed and pretty we can go almost anywhere.

Leif, All groomed and Ready.

Happy New Year 2014.