Helen, a Guide Dog owner friend of mine on facebook said this about her dog, Rosie -
"I wanted to share with everyone who helps guide dogs on their journey just what it is like to be a guide dog owner. A simple example..at the shops; Without a dog. In the shopping centre its busy. Lots of noise,people walking in all directions. I have bits of vision so i see bits of arms feet bags faces. I feel someone beside me. Hear someone behind me. Im concentrating very hard to stay upright, to not walk into anybody and get to where I want to go. Im creeping slowly,carefully. Concentrate! I walk outside into the sunlight im completely blinded.. WITH A DOG.. I step out into the sunlight,im blinded. I look down and can make out Rosie my gd. She is scanning. I tell her "left' and off we go. She strides confidently forward finding the way through the busy high street. People see her and part to let her through. I feel completely relaxed. Im enjoying the sun on my face and being out with my dog. People all around are looking at her,admiring her. I look down and she is looking side to side checking all around us is clear. My heart aches with love for her. She is like a Guiding Light. I just need to follow. I know that if there is not enough room for us she will stop. If there is a kerb or something on the path she will stop or lead me round it. To walk with her is a joy. A simple thing but just one of many wonderful things she brings to my life. If i wrote them all down we would be here a long time! So I would just like to say thankyou to you all so so much. Guide dogs really do change lives xx
Picture shows light yellow lab gd Rosie smiling."
Isn't Rosie gorgeous? What a smile! Us puppy walkers go through a lot of emotions through the year. Parting with the pup is total heartbreak. I tell Twiglet, as I did with Gypsy, every evening when I kiss her goodnight "You are not my dog, but you are going to have a very special owner to take care of and they will love you just like I do."
But reading Helen's story and those of people like her makes it a journey I am happy and proud to take.