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


Megan and Spanky said...

I am so sorry to hear about Zane's early retirement. I am sure you did everything you could. I hope he has many happy years in his puppy raisers home. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Brittany said...

What heart breaking news! Like megan said, I am sure you and the trainers at GDB tried everything they could to get him working confidently again.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you!

Lisa and Ellie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I echo what Brittany and Megan said already. My thoughts are with you!

Emily, Suede, Burgess, and Tahoe said...

I am so sorry, Richard. It sounds like Zane and you made an amazing team, and you worked hard together for a few years. I'm sorry he will now have to be retired.

Kelsey, Spike, Burgess, and Tahoe said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Zane's retirement. I hope that Zane enjoys his life as an amazing pet. Good luck.

Zane Train said...

Richard, (email from puppy raiser Dad, Gary)

I just got the news about Zane that was forwarded to me from Claudia. I'm so sorry to hear this news and could break into tears at any moment myself. It's just hard to believe but in hindsight it seemed the writing was "on the wall" and we just didn't want to believe it. I have an idea of how you must feel and I know it's deep sadness. A bond between a guide dog and his leader is for sure stronger than almost any other animal bond I can think of. You must, and will I'm sure, face the future and work around this setback, as hard as it must be. I recall one of your emails to GDB indicating that you feel you've "lost a part of your body". How true that is.

Let the tears flow for a while, but get control of your emotions as quickly as you can. Remember, there is another dog out there somewhere that is just waiting for a person like you and I hope you very soon pursue getting another guide. Once you meet him/her, a bond will develop as quickly and as strongly as it is did with Zane. It really will. I know because we go through it every time we raise a new pup. Zane was your first guide and always will be first in your heart. He showed you what life can be with guide and you have to admit it's good.

The girls have been calling to see if I've heard from you and so I'll let them know. They are going to feel much the same as I do. Sadness for you and Zane but relief that it's not a much worse condition for him. At least it's not a health issue he is facing.

I'd like to call you over the weekend once you've had a chance to get home and settle down a bit....but call any time if you want/need to.

Till later,

Love....Gary and the Johnpeer ("first family").

Princess Coral said...

Oh Richard, this was not I was expecting to hear... I'm so sorry!!! I read your post last Friday and searching for the words; nothing sounds right... Then, Zane's puppy family has said it all! I can only imagine how deeply you are saddened! When I lost Shelby, my first reaction was "I don't want another dog!" As you know, I was with her for only 3+ weeks...

Richard, as Gary said, Zane has shown you how wonderful it is to work with a guide dog, and Zane will keep his place as your 1st guide just as Shelby does for me! I hope that you will decide to get another guide dog when the time is right for you.

May God be with You!

Zane Train said...

Thanks to so many for your kind words and compassion in such a tough time for me. I really appreciate it.
What would Zane say right now? I believe that Zane is having fun playing with his fellow kennel mates, but saying to himself, where is Dad? Where is Cuzzie? Where is Mom and Grandma?
I'm sure he does not understand, but he loves to play and have fun with all those who interact with him, so I know he is doing well.

Megan & Spanky: thanks for your kindness and support The Johnpeers will love having him back.

Brittany: They really tired hard at GDB to bring him back, but it was not to be. He will be a great house pet and the puppy raiser will take good care of him.

Lisa & ellie: somehow I feel the Zane Train will live on in many ways that I do not know.

Emily & gang: I wish our team had been a few years, but it was only for 9 months. I am really sad to not have him back.

Kelsey & gang: Zane will be the smartest pet ever shared with a family. Zane is amazing and I will surely miss him.

Gary & the Johnpeers: you guys made Zane one of the finest products that GDB has ever produced. He was just too sensitive and the work must have been too stressful for him. You are so fortunate and I hope that you get Zane back to be your pet. I look forward to visintg him whenever I am in LA. I can't wait to HUG him again and feel his big licks! I'm crying just talking about it. He is such a special animal and friend.

Coral: I know Azne would still want to be your Prince and maybe will get to meet you someday. But until then, thank you for your love and concern and prayers. You are such a special dog and you have a special partner, Nikki.

Love to all, Richard

Becky said...

Just want to add that all has been said -- that first guide is very special - the freedom Zane gave you is hard to put in words, I know. I have thought about you all weekend since reading your post. In time there will be another guide ... you are in our thoughts and prayers as well. Steve, Becky & Cricket

Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,
It's me Zane. Life at San Rafael is A-OK. The sounds and scents never change. I'm glad I get to come back here once in a while. It's just like Disney Land, but of course it's tailored to my needs. You know how I love to chase and run and romp with my puppy pals. I even get to eat the same food you and Claudia give me. Yum...

However, I'm about done vacationing, and I've been wondering where you or the Johnpeer's are. I overheard that someone is coming to get me soon! Yeah!! If you're coming to get me, I can't wait to walk in the snow, smell the fresh Colorado air, and have my hair groomed weekly. If the Johnpeers come to get me, I'll be able to run up and down the street with Gary, sit next to Vicki when she's on the computer, and cuddle up next to Katie and Kim. I'm lucky so many people care about me.

I've got to go, it's dinner time again.

By the way, "I love you."

Anonymous said...


Melody and I are here, wanting so much to offer our love and support. I know that Zane will live a joyful life, because that's who he is. And you will do so, as well, because that's who YOU are. There is a very lucky dog out there who will enter your life soon to build a new partenrship with. And we know that he or she will be another really exceptional guide, because that's just how it HAS TO BE. We love you, Richard. You are our family. I remember that you and Zane were the first two at my door when I had to career change Arlo and I care for you just as much as you did for me when that happened. Be well, my good friend and good will keep coming into your life. Meli and I are here, sending everything positive we have! Keep the news coming. I can't wait to see what your next adventure you are going to have!


Kae & Melody

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Zane has to be retired. That is very sad news. Here's hoping that you get another special dog as your partner very soon.
By the looks of your blog you have lots of people to support you through this. yay for supportive people.
I'll keep the two of you in my thoughts and prayers.
Jimmy the black lab sends puppy kisses. In hopes that you feel better.
Michelle & Jimmy

Carin said...

Hi. You don't know me, but I heard about you and Zane in the guide dog podcast. I feel for you and can't imagine having to send your guide dog back after 9 months together. My first guide dog had to be retired at two months, so I know the pain, well I know some part of it. Good luck, I'll be thinking of you. Let yourself feel whatever you have to feel. It's all gotta come out somewhere.

Zane Train said...

From Gary:
Great...I'll be expecting the call and we've already talked about renting a car to drive up and get Zane just as soon as we can...hopefully this weekend. And I'm so excited to hear that Richard is pursuing a "new" dog as quickly as he is.

Now we've got to figure out what to do about the "Zanetrain" blog site. I'd like to talk to Richard about how we can continue the saga...perhaps renaming it a bit to accomodate the "new" dog and so both Zane and the new dog can be bloggers. Just an idea and I don't want to intrude on that wonderful blogsite but wanted to see what you thought, as Zane now seems to have a following of readers who might want to keep up on his activities. We could also include blogs of activities of the puppies in training, such as Sayer. What do you think? (I'd have to learn how to blog since I've never done it, other than adding comments).

PS: Vicki has been considering using Zane as a therapy dog for hospitals, retirement homes, etc. I'd be very supportive of such a thing and it would get Zane out into the public a bit. He still wouldn't have the full public access that guide dogs have but he would be able to serve a good role and withouth much stress. Let's see where that idea leads us.

PS: I don't know who Gary Borell is...but I like the name.

Zane Train said...

Hi Richard and Claudia,

I sent my first letter accidentally. Sorry.

The last 3 - 4 weeks have been a whirlwind for you. What an unexpected turn of events. Happenings unraveled which we never thought could occur. But with the help of GDB, You and Zane have been in good hands, and the future will soon be full of promise again. We've been in a quandary as well as you. We'll both have to accept that we don't have the answers and that's OK. We look forward in confidence that your needs and Zane's needs will be met. Bless you both.

By the way, I heard through the grapevine that Zane wrote you a nice letter on his Blog.

Thank you for all your correspondence. You're awesome.


Zane Train said...

Hi Richard,

I just wanted to say hello and let you know that you have definitely
been in my thoughts the last several weeks. I know that this has been a
huge transition without Zane for you. I'm sad that he will not be your
partner from here out but am glad to hear that you are jumping right in
to be re-trained with a new guide dog. And in-home training sounds much
better for you and Claudia than leaving for a month to San Rafael.

I also really like my mom's idea of having Zane be a therapy dog. I
think his disposition would be great for this! The impact of animals on
people amazes me! We will continue thinking of you and praying for you
as this transition continues.


Zane Train said...


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!


Zane Train said...


Your letter brought me to tears! I could just see you peering through the bars of the kennel and longingly looking forward to jumping into my arms. I miss you terribly and wish you the best.

Yes, Gary will be coming to rescue you from the GDB kennels soon. I know that the Johnpeers will love you as much as I do and have.

I will plan to come visit you as soon as I can. I love you and miss you and send you lots of hugs and kisses.

Love, Dad

Princess Coral said...

Dear Zane,

While I lay by Nikki's chair at work, I think of you, my Prince! There have been lots of changes around you lately, but soon you're going back to your puppy home in LA where you're loved as much as you were in CO with Richard! Sounds like a fabulous plan is already laid out for you! Being a therapy dog would be perfect for a gentle and happy dog like yo! You'd get to meet all kinds of people and make them happy.

And I do hope that you'll continue your Zane-Train blog! I'd love to be informed of the well-being of my Prince:) Who knows; LA is not too far from San Diego! We may be able to meet some day...


Happy to hear that you are getting another dog! In-home training is great! I loved it. Keep us posted!

Best wishes

Lots of Love from
Your Princess & her human