Thursday, October 30, 2008

Approved for New Locomotive!

Good evening friends and my buddy Zane,

I just got word today that I have been approved to attend the Nov/Dec class at GDB in Portland, OR. I am so EXCITED! I hope that Zane has a "brother" that is looking for work!

I just have to get my time off approved by my employer, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and then I can make my plans to attend the class Nov. 29 through Dec. 14.

I've never been to the Boring campus, but it does not sound boring! It is supposed to be beautiful. Only about a month to go!

Zane, it sounds like your fan base is still out there and I'm glad you got your voice back.

Maybe I can fly south on the way home? Who knows.

God bless everyone! Richard

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Note from Zane

Dear Dad,

Gosh, life here with the "first family" is sure easy!

So far they haven't even made me work for my food . . . how about that! And I still get lots of "good boys" for doing simple things like sitting and going down. Why weren't you that easy on me?

They have another lab puppy in training (black like me) that wants to play tug-of-war all the time which is so fun. His name is Sayer. He gets recalled in a couple of months so then I'll have full control of this house.
Well, to be honest, I do have some concerns. You see, for some reason, Sayer gets to go everywhere with Gary and during those short periods of time, I have to stay home and "guard the house". I guess this must be a bad neighborhood or something so for now that seems to be my main job. They said it was an important job, too.

You and I used to go to so many places and I miss that so much. I also miss laying by your desk at the office and listening to all the people talk about how handsome I am (and I still am!).

I miss the trips to the groomer (they must be poor here because they groom me themselves).

I miss Claudia and Grandma and of course, little Cuzzie. Tell them I love them.

I miss the trips to the airport which took us to so many strange places. But most of all Dad, I just miss you. And I can't wait till the day comes that you can visit me in sunny southern California.
I worry about you, Dad, but they tell me you're doing well and seeking a replacement guide dog and that should happen soon. I hope his eyes are as brown and as big and as loving as mine. B

Boy that dog sure has some exciting times ahead, doesn't he (she?).
Gary has been sending you pictures of me but please send some of you and my Colorado family.

But there's no need to send any pictures of that cold fluffy stuff you called "snow"! To me it just seemed like frozen slush but I never wanted to tell you that because you seemed to like it so much. You try walking around in bare feet and you'll see what I mean.
Well, I must sign off now, Dad, because Gary is over by the freezer and it's time for my morning ice cube! Retirement can be rough at times.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zane Train - Back with the First Family

Good morning,

3 cheers, Hoorah, Hoorah, Hoorah! Zane has finally returned home safely to the his first family, the Johnpeers. Listen to the excitement that Gary and the family had in anticipation of his return:

"I called to verify Zane is scheduled to be on the GDB puppy truck arriving this FRI PM from San Rafael and Mary Eastman said he is all ready to go! She is checking in his food so I don't have to give him a food change. What were you feeding him when he was sent back to SR? How much daily? If you find the time could you ask your vet for copies of his vet records? I'd like to keep a complete file on his health said he had a couple ear infections (I think).

"Gosh, we are sure looking forward to seeing that big black beast again. He's had quite a year, hasn't he? I was thinking today that it was last Thanksgiving that you got him and it's almost Thanksgiving again and now we get him back. What a series of exciting events he's had in his short life! And just think how many lives he's touched. And how many dogs ever had their own blog spot with such an interested group of nationwide supporters? I wonder what he's thinking about all this?"

"PS: Look for some pictures of Zane late Fri night. When you coming back to sunny Southern California?"

Well, the puppy truck arrived right on time Friday night, and Gary updated us by phone and with this email:

"Hey guys....I sent a bunch of pics of Zane ...a batch of 27 was sent (twice) and following that was a single image. I sure hope you got them OK. (We did!)

The puppy truck arrived promptly at 8:00 PM and we had a wonderful reunion. He got his picture taken many times and had his supper at the puppy truck. I've sent you his first pictures as I promised and he is now lying by my computer at 10 PM as I write this, yes, in his "frog" position. He seems to be right at home. However, I really think initially when we first saw him there was a look in his eye asking "where's Richard?"

Seriously. It was eerie. During the last hour though he seems to have settled in quite well, seems very comfortable and that look isn't as obvious. We're so glad he is safely here and off the puppy truck. He seemed fed up with the 16 barking puppies they are delivering to Phoenix tomorrow while Sayer couldn't get enough of them. Yes, Sayer is in 7th heaven as you'd expect. They spent their first 15 minutes at the house playing tug-of-war with a PVC pipe-toy and running around the house trying to play take-away when one got it.

Love, G and the other "lucky dogs".

It is great that Zane is being loved so much by his first family. Yes, I miss him terribly, but I have to move on for my opportunity to get a new guide dog. I should hear very soon according to GDB and I can't wait to be part of the December class of 2008.

Love to all, Zane is home safely, Richard

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wanted: New Locomotive!

Good morning,

As many of you know, the leader of the Zane Train is being sent back to his original home depot. Zane must not have been able to handle the stress of guide work. Even though I will miss Zane terribly, I have to move on and find a new locomotive to get the Zane Train moving again.

I have made application to GDB for a new guide dog. I have completed my medical physical and I am now in the qeue to be reviewed for a new dog. My first choice would be in-home training, but there is a long waiting list for in-home training and this requires a great match of dog to handler.

Therefore, I have requested first available spot which is currently Boring, OR in the Nov/Dec class. My first class was the same time frame in San Rafael last year. It is hard to imagine that I would already by a "retrain" student, but that's where I am and I look forward to getting approved for class ASAP.

I request that all my friends out there, keep praying and sending positive energy for me to be approved for the next class because I really look forward to having a guide dog. They really make a difference for me!

Zane is currently staying at a foster home in the San Rafael area until the puppy truck picks him up on Oct. 24 to return him to Beea, CA to go back home to the Johnpeers. They are so excited to have him back and I am glad that he going where he is LOVED very much.

All the best to everyone, love, Richard

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zane Train Goes Home!

Attention All Supporters of the Zane Train,

Zane has been retired from guide work, but God's blessings have created a return to his puppy raiser home. There is much love and affection for him there and Zane will make a powerful difference for all the people that he is going to meet and cheer up and spread his puppy love. See below.

Richard and Claudia,

I just got the call from Rick Wilcox, our southern California advisor for GDB asking if we want Zane back or if we'd want him to go into the "Buddy" program where he would be adopted by a person less than 18 years old that will eventually need a guide. I told him that it was your wish and our desire to have him back with us as soon as possible and that's what was decided. Now we need to figure out transportation for him....we could either drive up and get him this weekend or wait till the 24th when the Puppy Truck makes a regular run to Arizona via our city. We could pick him up then. I'll talk to the girls and decide.

We're so excited to see him again. His future is now set and there will be no more major change of scenery for him. He will have a safe, stable and enriching environment with us although he won't have the social status he once had!

We'll let you know what we decide to do as far as his transportation back to his "first family".

PS: Rick knows the trainer that worked with Zane and spoke highly of him. He had no more insight into his condition than you already gave fact less. Rick's job is mainly to decide placement for Zane and he is coordinating his efforts with the puppy placement office at GDB.


That's great! I know he will love being back with all the LOVE that you
guys will give him.
I couldn't be happier for him.

Thanks for the best wishes. Onward and upward. Richards!

I'm sure you'll get a retrain approval. I don't envy you having
to go through another physical but I'm sure you'll do well at that too.
And we know you feel comforted that Zane will be back with us. It's the
next-best-place for him for sure. How he can settle down to a life of
relaxation.... and plenty of food for little work (is he a registered
Democrat?). He won't have to worry about any more significant life style
changes, new people to get used to, the stress of working, and all the
expectations one has of a guide dog. He has certainly changed our lives and
yours too, so he has made a good mark on this world. Without him we
wouldn't have been introduced to the Faubions and the Foundation for
Fighting Blindness. We'll do our best to put him to useful service as he
again gets used to the sunny Southern California climate and lifestyle. He
will get to go with me on most of my job-site investigations and all the
drillers, geologists, neighbors and clients I work with already know and love
him too. I hope he won't miss the snow too much! I've alerted the
girls to hide all their socks and Vicki has the vacuum cleaner all shined up and
ready to go (black hair)!

We certainly will keep you posted on each and every development as it pertains
to Zane's return to us. And clear out your inbox to make way for numerous
photos of him!


What a great sequence of events. Zane will be home soon!

Hugs and kisses all around, Richard

Friday, October 3, 2008

Zane Train to be retired

Sadly I report that Zane did not recover from his lack of confidence in guide work and the head instructor is recommending that Zane be retired. He is too sensivite in their opinion and can not handle the stress of guide work.

This is not official yet, but he has worked 10 different times and he has not been able to successfully complete his work.

I have been crying a lot with this news, but there is nothing that I can do about it. Thanks for everyone's prayers and postive thoughts. He is a happy dog despite this, so hoepfully he will be returned to his puppy raiser who also loves him dearly.

Thanks for all your support.

Now, what's next for me, I do not knnow.

With a heavy heart, Richard