Today is a big one in my life and in the life of my guide dog Vidal. This is "Mr. V’s" official retirement day. After working alongside me for 8 years (and after visiting over 30 of the U.S. states and four foreign countries) Vidal will now get to be a house pet.
When my first guide dog "Corky" retired I was able to keep her in our home. But that was a different era when my wife Connie was working at home and Corky had lots of companionship.
Now I’m taking what I believe is the "right step" for Vidal and I’m sending him to live with my friend Barbara and her daughter Zoe. They live about two miles away from me in Iowa City. They are excited about having a handsome yellow Labrador in their midst. I think that Vidal will be excited as well, because Barbara and Zoe have two cats. Vidal loves cats.
If for some reason Barbara and Zoe find that having a nearly 80 pound Labrador is too much to handle I will of course take Vidal back into my home. But I think it would be hard for him to watch me going out every day with a new guide dog. I think Vidal needs to be the "star" of the house.
Just a couple of weeks ago Vidal performed what’s called a "traffic check" by pushing me back from a car that was cutting the curb. He’s always going to be my special friend.
Goodbye, Buddy! I’m proud of you. Now make me proud over there at Barbara and Zoe’s house. Keep your nose out of the cat box!