Dog Day. 22 Years Ago

There are those days etched in your memory … September 17, 1997 was one of those days for me. I was a young mom – 32 years old and at the campus of Boring, Oregon to receive my first guide dog. This is how I share this experience in my book: Look Up, Move Forward: “I’d been eagerly awaiting Dog Day, and I finally met my guide on Wednesday, September 17. We’d been asked to wait in our rooms for our dogs to be delivered to us, but after several minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I opened my door  out in the hall to find that several of my classmates had also given up on waiting patiently. We shared our nervous anticipation and excitement and it wasn’t long before I was presented with my 63 pound yellow lab, Pantera. She was almost two years old and full of life. We went back into my room to get to know each other better. … I told Pantera how happy I was to meet her and how much I was looking forward to our adventures together. If a bouncing dog indicates a happy dog, Pantera was full of joy. She wagged and wagged her tail as I stroked her yellow fur and gave her a bone. I called Steve and the kids so they could ‘meet’ her too and share in my excitement about being matched with this energetic new partner who would help me navigate life safely and independently.”  This dog was going to change my life in amazing ways and we both seemed to sense that excitement and anticipation on that day.

Photo description below:  Andrews family with Pantera in Park City – after purchasing our Olympic berets in 2002.  Pantera served as my guide dog for 9 years and was a key part of our family.

Today 22 years later with my third guide dog, Georgie, by my side … I’ll reflect on the special three dog days I have had — Pantera, Cricket and Georgie – my beautiful guide dogs who have opened up so much possibility in my life.

What is a life changing day etched in your mind?

Look up, move forward!