Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Fellow guide dogs and Dads,

It's June 15th, Father's Day. As I lay on my lambs skin rug and reflect about the past two and a half years, I have such wonderful memories of my real Dad and Mom. (Here's a picture of my human dads, Richard & Gary.)

My mother's name is Kauai and my real dad is named Baker. I'm not sure, but I think I was born at GDB on the San Rafael campus on February 23, 2006.

Baker is a great dad and I want to thank him for having that twinkle in his eye when he saw Kauai. I wonder if they met in Hawaii? Baker must have gotten a real "lei" greeting from Kauai, because here I am and what a stud I am.

I have four brothers who look a lot like me: Zippy, Zeus, Zahara and Zachary. I wonder if somebody was sleepy when they named us? You know, catching some "Z-z-z-z-z's!"

Zippy and I graduated from GDB in December, 2007. Zippy is a Yellow Lab and graduated with Rasheed. I heard Princess Coral tell me that Zippy is no longer a guide dog, but had a career change.

What's that mean? Now he's a sled dog?! I hope he is dong fine wherever he is.

I heard Zeus was in line to get placed as a guide dog earlier this year, but I have never heard what happened to him either. Baker, dad, you did a great job getting us started in life. Thank you!

Baker, dad, I have a question. Two of my brothers are yellow Labs and two are black, like me. Now, how does that happen? Are you sure you weren't messing around somewhere?

I’m an officially licensed guide dog for the blind. My partner, Richard, has my official license that he keeps in his wallet at all times just in case somebody asks.

Being a guide dog makes me pretty special. I get special privileges that most other dogs don’t have, like going on airplanes in the cabin (not a crate in the hold!) and into fancy restaurants. I may only be two and a half years old, but I’ve got a real story to tell you!

I have not seen my parents since I was about eight weeks old when I was sent to southern California to live with my puppy raiser family. I really miss Gary, Vicky, Katie and Kimmie. They took such good care of me. They spent a lot of time training and raising me to be such a well-mannered guide dog. I don't get flustered by dogs barking or people coming to the door or dogs walking past the deck. I'm a true prince!

At about sixteen months, most guide dog puppies are considered old enough to begin advanced training back at GDB. That's what happened to me! I returned to San Rafael and began my 4 month training course to become a super dog with my new Dad, Richard. Thanks, Dad, for taking such good care of me.

Super big licks and belly rubs to all my dads: Bake, Gary & Richard,

Love, Zane


Princess Coral said...

Hi Zane,

I believe that Zippi was adopted to his raiser's friend in San Diego! I may have a play buddy? But San Diego County is too big!!! I think Zippi is in South Bay somewhere.

Princess Coral

Anonymous said...

Hey Buddy, remember us? We raised you from 8 weeks till you were recalled for training. You've left us with so many good memories of the adventures we had together. We still hope your new parents might decide to give you back but they seem to have become as attached to you as we were. I hear you are still shedding black hair everywhere.

Your chew toys are now being used by another black lab named Sayer. Like you, he has found a place in our hearts too and we will be just about as sad when he goes back for training as we were when you were recalled. Sayer can't be given Kong toys because he demolishes them in one to two days. He gets to ride in the Jeep with me every day like you did and even gets to ride in the back seat of the airplane like you did. Yesterday he got to ride in the kayak for a 7 miles and he used a yellow life vest. He looked like a bumblebee in it. I sure hope if he passes his training that he ends up with as good a Dad as Richard is to you. That would make all the work of raising him so worthwhile.

Mom will write you as soon as she gets a chance but today was her last class at school so she is busy as can be.

We love you and miss you.

Till later,

Your "first" mother and father.

Gary and Vicki

Kimmie said...

Hi Zane!

Thank you for sharing your stories with us, it is so nice to know what you are up to :)



Zane Train said...

Princess Coral,

So great to hear from you! And you look beautiful and Dad says that Nikki is cute too! So good to see a picture of you. I have just got to get to San Diego. Zippy is there too! Maybe we can renew old times and chew each other's ear off.

It's been a real busy week for Dad, so I've been catching up on whewing my bones and catching some Z's. You know I need that!

All the best to you with lots of big licks and belly rubs, Zane

Zane Train said...

Anonymous & Kimmie,

Anonymous? GrandDad, you can try to hide from me, but it won't work. I remember you well. We had so much FUN together. I really enjoyed riding in your Jeep, even though I got a little bit too big for the spot you stuck me in. But I was with you and that was all that was important to me then!

You mention I chewed up Kongs. What do you expect? It's soft rubber and easy to chew. Dad takes it away from me after we play and that keeps me from chewing on it. I love to play when he gets it out. It jumps all over the place and is lots of fun to catch in the air. Maybe Mom will show you a picture of me chasing the Kong?

Kimmie, so great to hear from you! You were one of my favorites to cuddle with. In fact, I liked to sneak into your home and spend the night with you. You gave me lots of belly rubs and you know how much I LOVE belly rubs.

StepMom, I look forward to hearing from you and Miss Katie. She was own personal pilot!

Love to all and I miss you much. I'm glad Dad took me back to see you after graduation.

Big licks and belly rubs, Zane