Monday, September 7, 2009

Sayer's Graduation - the rest of the story!

Sayer goes "upside down" when he hears the Johnpeer's voices at GDB!

Happy Labor Day all you working dawgs!

Yes, it's Labor Day in Colorado and I'm so glad that I have a JOB! You know, I work hard for what I get paid in kibble and I believe that I don't need any of that stinking health care insurance, but Dad always wants the best for me. I'm working, though, and not "under-employed" like some dogs I know.

Zane, are you still laying around in California getting a sun tan? Yes, I heard that you have become a therapy dog, but what I want to know is, is the therapy for you or for the Johnpeers?!

I know you have a good sense of humor because Dad said that you do, so I hope you are doing well and I look forward to meeting you someday SOON!

Thanks for sharing this story about your step brother and mine, Sayer. He really looks like a cool dude and I bet he really loves Kathy the way he did you and the Johnpeers.

Thanks for sharing this story from Sayer after his graduation as a "working dog." I can just hear Dolly singing "9 to 5" in the background. I know that Claudia & Richard will enjoy this story of success! Take is away Zane . . .

"Hey Mom and Dad, there's been lots of activity around here recently, mostly pertaining to Sayer and his graduation from Guide Dog School in San Rafael. Here's a brief summary of what I've overheard.

"A couple of weeks ago, Gary got a call that Sayer had been placed with person at the guide dog school and that the person was a retrain student, meaning Sayer would be their second dog.

"He wasn't told about any of the particulars, such as age, gender, residence, etc., just that he was "placed." The suspense, excitement, and anticipation about who it would be was killing everybody!

"About that time there was a "fun day" at the guide dog school in San Rafael and some of the people from Gary's puppy group went to join in with the festivities. It seems that Olga, that nice French lady you met once, was in the gift shop (perhaps it was a store; not sure) and somehow the name "Sayer" got mentioned.

"A bystander, who turned out to be the person who Sayer had been placed with, overheard Olga and they struck up a conversation. Olga was knowingly breaking the rules a bit because puppy raisers are not supposed to have any contact with the dogs once they are in training.

"But Olga's a bit like Gary and saw no problem bending the rules just a little bit. She called Gary upon her return to Orange County and "spilled the beans" about who Sayer was placed with.

"As you know by now, the person is a nice lady in her mid-50's who was a retrain student. Her name is Kathy Hazard and she lives right there in Novato. Olga got to see Sayer and she said he looked magnificent.

"A couple days later, Gary and Vicki got the official letter that Sayer was going to graduate and were asked if they were going to be able to go to the graduation. I got worried because I knew I couldn't go along. I've not been left alone overnight since I was retired.

"They let Jed, their new GDB pup, spend the night with Robert and Susan (Brando's owners) and I got to spend the night with my best friend across the street . . . you remember Logan, that Golden Retriever I play with all the time.

"They left for San Rafael last Friday evening for a very quick and tiring trip up to the school. They didn't get there till 2:00 AM Saturday morning and were up early to go see Sayer for the first time since he was recalled and to attend the Saturday graduation ceremony.

"They said Sayer went crazy when he first heard their voice. He was upside down and so excited that for a while he really didn't look like a dignified Guide Dog at all! But neither Kathy nor the Johnpeers were concerned as they figured Sayer would go berserk for a little while and he did!

"Gary said that Sayer's eager reaction to them was, in itself, justification for the tiring trip. Poor Kathy got left in the background during all the excitement of the re-union but she understood.

"Gary says that she is just as appreciative of getting Sayer as you were of getting me.

"Gary, Vicki, Kim, and Katie got to hand over the leash to Kathy and Gary got to say a few words at the he didn't cry or choke up this time!

"They all had to get back to Orange County by Sunday morning because Vicki started school on Monday and Kim and Brandon had Sunday School to teach. They visited for as long as they could and got to know Kathy a bit better. They got to meet her son and daughter-in-law who live close to Kathy. His name is Matt and her's is Heather.

"Perhaps best of all for Kathy, is that Matt and Heather adopted Dean, her 10-yr-old guide dog that had to be retired. It was hard for Kathy to officially retire Dean but she is so happy that he's close to home and she can see him often. Matt and Heather have a pretty neat dog now and everyone is happy.

"They are a good family and Gary says Sayer is in good hands, even though he would have been glad to have Sayer return to live with me . . . but then he always says that, doesn't he?

"Everybody is going through new adjustments now: Kathy with Sayer; Dean with Matt and Heather; Gary & Vickie without Sayer; ME without Sayer; me with Jed . . . goodness!

"Gotta go as this short note has again turned in to a small novel. Give Claudia and Grandma a big hug from me. Say hi to Cuzzie, too. I still miss you so much. I'm fine and I love it here as I get to sleep in Gary & Vickie's bed EVERY night!

Dear Sweet Lovable Zane"

Well, I guess that says it all . . . except, Happy Labor Day, everyone!


Miss Parka

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