In this picture are two dogs who love to play together. They are very special dogs, Annette and I are both blind, and Thelma and Gazelle are our service dogs.
Annette and I live not too far from each other, so we get together when we can to let our dogs play. Recently, we decided to take our dogs on a long walk in our neighborhood. We walked around our neighborhood, Thelma and I leading the way, warning our friends about low hanging branches, changes in sidewalk elevation, or street corners ahead.
Both Annette and I each depend on our dogs daily to get us where we need to go. Maybe a trip to the grocery store, YMCA or gym or to work. Since neither of us drive, we might need to take public transportation, Lyft or Uber. Thelma, my dog, lies quietly on the stage as I lead praise and worship at church, or if I’m speaking or training somewhere. Both of us try to walk with our dogs at least a half mile or more in our own neighborhoods daily to keep them sharp and learning new routes. It keeps us fit, too.
In the spring, we often encounter low-hanging tree limbs. You might love them hanging low over the public sidewalk in front of your home, but when you can’t see them coming, it is truly an annoyance, especially after a rain storm. You see, our dogs are used to looking out for us on the ground. They make sure they stop at elevation changes in the sidewalks, or at street corners. Reminding them to look overhead for those branches and overgrown evergreen ferns is something we must retrain them on every spring.
Lastly, our dogs are great companions. You know, there’s nothing like a dog cheerfully saying “good morning.” It reminds us that it’s another fresh, new day that the Lord has given us, full of adventures. Since my husband works away from home, even in the pandemic, my dog Thelma is my little buddy who encourages me to take breaks, hikes, and times to play fetch. Annette works from home too and I know Gazelle helps remember that “dog time” must also be built into her day.
Please pray for safety for those of us who depend on our service dogs, and remember to give your dog that extra love and attention they need.