CruisinwithCricket & Georgie

My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera, 2. Cricket, recently retired, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). This blog is a place to celebrate the many ways we are Tethered with Resilience, Gratitude, Hope and Laughter.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Rock

This blog can be a lot about amazing dogs. I truly have been blessed with three incredible guides. This post is about my sweet husband. We are approaching our 30-year anniversary. Happiness is being married to your best friend. He is my rock. He is amazing. He believes in me. There have been times where I have clung to his belief ... not sure whether I could do something and he just said, of course you can. How can I help you? He often tells me, I am the luckiest guy to be married to you. He was instrumental in building my business and continues to support in every way - including often helping clean the office. When I wanted to ride a bike after losing my sight, he embraced the tandem idea. I could go on and on but just so grateful for this incredible, supportive, wonderful man that treats me so special. He dropped me and Georgie off at the office yesterday and said - we are twinners. Of course, I didn't realize - seemed a great time for a selfie :).
P.S. my earrings are tandem bikes ... how fitting, right!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Little more transitioning

Georgie and I came home from guide dogs and hit the ground running.  It felt like every aspect in our life was a little/lot hectic!  She has been amazing and has taken it all in stride.  As I mentioned, yesterday was such a gift to have a day to catch up and bond further.  During this first week I was feeling a little overwhelmed with a sweet retired guide that wanted my attention and mostly the attention of my new guide at the same time while I was also trying to keep things calm and establish good habits and catch up in all areas of my life.  

It was a blessing that a sweet family was considering if a dog would be helpful in their family.  It was very difficult - however, we let Cricket go stay with them for 5 days.  That first night I was ... Steve, what have we done :).   Those days gave Georgie and me the time to connect on a deeper level without feeling the tug of time with Cricket too.   I recognized that the second day and so glad we had this opportunity.   In the process, we met a lovely family that enjoyed a sweet dog to give them a sense of whether a dog would work for their family.   Sweet Cricket is back and doing well.  Georgie was so excited to see her!  She is still very excited about her new friend, Georgie who is very excited about her as well.  They are going to be buddies for the next several years.  This little separation time helped us establish the new dynamics!  Georgie Girl goes everywhere as my guide and Crickers gets the retired life and enjoying walks with Steve and all of us together.

Life is a journey, isn't it!  Excited for this phase in Georgie's Journeys.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beautiful Bonding

Today Georgie and I had a little time to visit Steve's office. It was fun to introduce her to his colleagues.  She was adorable and such a good girl.  I have been looking forward to introducing Georgie to City Creek (a beautiful shopping area that I often meet friends for lunch, etc).  We walked over to City Creek and introduced her to my friends at The Limited, Nordstroms and Rocky Mountain Chocolate (yes, I am a frequent buyer of their amazing Caramel Apples!).  I am so excited how quickly she has picked up - Find the Counter. This is such an awesome help for a shopper who is blind.    I was so excited how she nailed the curb from the Nordstroms door to the curb to cross the street.  Forward and a right, right and we were there!  Incredible!    We had a little spare time before our ride and so we walked over to Temple Square. It was such a beautiful, crisp spring day. I was excited to introduce Georgie to this beautiful, peaceful area. We were sitting on the bench and two sister missionaries stopped and visited with us. They were so sweet and had such love. One was from France and one from Mexico.  They took our picture.
It feels like we've been a team longer than 3 1/2 weeks!  Today will be a memorable day that I will look back as our bonding deepened.  We felt like one.  She is doing fabulous both in our home in getting settled in to the family, at work and as a guide and all the many places that entails.   So grateful.  Love this girl!    

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Clip

A beautiful tribute for our Gigi/Georgie Girl:  Gigi's Tribute

Thank you Kylea Foster!

Some more firsts with Georgie

As we start week two together at home -- Georgie and I are reflecting on some of our firsts ...

Today - first walk on Legacy Trail. One of our favorites. Steve and I have enjoyed so many long walks and talks on this trail! Georgie did great. I was ready to teach her the sidewalkless training mode if needed. She picked it up very quickly. We had a delightful walk. This picture is at the end of our walk celebrating our journey.
We were preparing dinner and realized that we had a little superviser.  Love this sweet girl.  This may have been the first meal I 'cooked' since being home!  
Georgie and I also went to church together for the first time.  She was fabulous.  

George and I had our first little presentation yesterday.  She was fabulous.

Looking forward to a new week!  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Grit

Today I was sharing my broken foot story with someone that asked.  She said -- you have a lot of grit.  I hadn't thought about it .. perhaps.

The night before I left for class for Guide Dogs for the Blind (3 weeks ago)  I ran into a door half open and broke my foot just below the toe.  If you've read my blog, you may not be surprised at another break :).  We were just on our way to a fireside that I was speaking at so I put on my boot from a previous break.  We went to the fireside with the plan to go to the ER afterwards.  Thankfully, my amazing doctor looked at my foot that night and indicated with some amazing shoes (Skechers Shape Ups - they lift the pressure off the top of your foot), toes banded together, some ice each night and ibuprofen; I would be able to still go to my training for my next guide dog.   The next morning, Steve walked me to my gate at the airport and I left for San Rafael.  I arrived and the amazing nurses and instructors monitored my foot for the next two weeks.  The swelling went down.  The bruising spread through my foot and then went down.  Each day after our training time, I went to my room and iced it. I was so grateful that it didn't slow me down. Each night I would say - Hey Georgie Girl we did it!   

Prior to this break, I was once again in training for a marathon.  I had planned to use the exercise room at the Student Residence Center at GDB to keep up.  Instead, no running.  I have missed running so much.  It has become something I absolutely love with the help of my amazing friends that are my guides. Each time I have trained for a marathon, midway a challenge has hit ... a concussion -- thankfully, I was still able to join in the training and run the marathon.  Last year a broken bone, and now this year this break.  Disappointing.  On my bucket list is to run the Boston Marathon.  It is taking a lot of grit to get to that goal.  I will visit the doctor again next week and hope he says, you go girl!  If you are going to break your foot, it is a good bone to break!  It isn't one we put a lot of weight on when we walk so its just a dull ache.    
I am working on a new site for Georgina's Journeys ... I'll keep you posted.  

In the meantime, these two are quite the pair ...
Funny story - I was typing on my blog and called out Georgina .. she's getting a little more freedom in the house now.  I hear a tail thumping just below me :).  She was sitting right near my feet.  
Exciting news!  Our new tandem bike has arrived!  Biking is a great activity for recovering broken bones! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Beginnings

After returning home late Sunday and having two packed days/nights at the office, this morning it is feeling like I have a few minutes to breathe and reflect on my new beginning with Georgie. She is a beautiful dog. I love her confidence in her guide work. I love her ability to have such great initiative. I love how her whole body wags with happiness. I love her fascination with her new red kong. I love to see her slowly (a new guide needs to take it slow) forming a relationship with my family and Cricket. I love her energy. I love the gift of freedom that once again I have felt.


Pantera was my 30 something guide ... carried me through grad school, raising our family, and becoming a confident woman who is blind.
Cricket was my 40 something guide ... up for many adventures with such love and compassion, easy traveller, there with me as my career flourished.
Georgie is my nearing 50 something guide.  We are creating our 50 something list.  One of my colleagues said - I just have a feeling you two are in for some great things - indeed.

As I sat on the bench outside my office with her yesterday for a few minutes, I realized I have sat in this spot with all three of my guides - taking a little break to enjoy some sunshine. Georgie has settled into the pillow that Cricket occupied at the office without any hesitation. She will get a new one soon. The whole process of transition from one guide to the next is a process of letting go, opening up and loving again - holding a special place in your heart for each beautiful guide and the lessons learned.
Cricket is happy and doing well. She enjoyed a nice long walk with Steve.  I took her outside this morning to have our little time watering the flowers.  I look forward to this weekend when the four of us can enjoy a walk together. We have a favorite nice wide sidewalk to do just that!

Thank you to all in the GDB Community who make these beautiful partnerships happen.  It is truly inspiring and I am forever grateful.