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, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Next Chapter for Cricket

Wishing many, many more smiles for this beautiful Girl!  

 For seven years, I literally was Cruisin with Cricket.  We travelled all over with confidence and joy.  She sat in my office with empathy and love as people share their deepest pains.  She recognized the pain and would gently get up off her bed and walk over and sit beside them.  I recall one session a woman was telling me she wanted to die.  We were literally creating a safety plan.  Cricket got up off her bed with urgency and came to this woman and tried to crawl in her lap!  Cricket taught me alot about being present for someone else.  My colleagues referred to her as the office mascot.  (Most of them have spent their whole career at RSI with her as the dog.) She loved everyone - whether it was the sweet child in the office or meeting Kathie Lee Gifford.  She had a kiss for everyone. My family loves and adores her.  We have so many wonderful memories with her.  Because of Cricket my family knew I was in good hands and safe for seven years.  (Before that it was Pantera keeping me safe and now it is Georgie keeping me safe).  When I reflect back on Cricket I will remember incredible opportunities to advocate in Cricket style .. with love, passion and confidence.  

When she told me she was ready to retire, I knew she had so much love left to give and share with others.  Although she did not want to guide, she really still wanted to go and connect with others.  For the past three months while bonding to my sweet Georgie Girl, I have prayed for the right door to open up for Cricket to share her love.  I didn't know if that would be with us where we adore her but are gone a lot.  Steve and I are very busy in our careers. There are days when we both leave the house in the morning and don't return until late in the evening.   She has a doggie door and someone to stop in and feed her.  We make sure she has a walk each day.  However, I knew there was more for her.  The thought of her sitting home and not sharing her love has been on my mind a lot.  I also knew it needed to be just the right fit for us to be willing to make this transition.  I ADORE this dog.  I have such deep LOVE and GRATITUDE for her.  How do you even put into words the gifts this beautiful dog has given me for the past seven plus years?  

I shared with a few close friends that we were exploring options for Cricket and also that we were in no rush.  Just keeping an open mind.  It was about what was best for Cricket.  Then, a couple weeks ago, a call came.  It came from a family that we have known, loved, admired for several years. We have served together in our church.  We have crossed paths at the grocery store.  They live close by.  They invited us over for an amazing meal.  The joy and love was present in their home.  We invited them to get to know Cricket and see if she was a good fit for their family and to see how Cricket felt as well.  They referred to her as a Hero Dog.  That warmed my heart!  Cricket stayed with them for most of the time we were in Washington, DC.    Kendall picked her up and spent a few days with her. We returned home from our trip and spent a couple days with Cricket.  We agreed their home would be a great fit for Cricket.   We returned back to their home Wednesday evening with Cricket and Georgie.  As we got out of the car, Cricket's tail began to wag.  Steve was walking her and she ran to their front door.  She was so happy.  We entered, and they were excited to have Cricket return.  She ran off to play with their kids.   She is surrounded with a family that loves her.  They recognize and celebrate her life of service in such a beautiful way that has touched my heart.  We left and I felt gratitude not sadness.  I was happy for Cricket. I felt like we were giving Cricket a beautiful gift and honoring her next phase of life.  They are close by.   We can stop in and say hi and give her love.  We can take her a birthday present :).  We can tend her when they go on vacation.  We can celebrate Cricket by trying to emulate her  amazing example of love, service, and compassion.  We can check in on her at Lindseyslemonade.  

Sometimes loving someone is knowing when to let go and let them fly in new ways.  Cricket is flying with a family that loves her and is excited to have her involved in all their fun activities.  She has already gone camping, boating, 4th of July festivities, picnics, and many invitations on which bedroom to sleep in with kids that all love her.  

Love you, Cricker Girl.  Thanks for the joyful journey of Cruisin with you!  You no longer need to "Find the Escalator" or glide around that crowded group of people at the airport.  You will have new ways to share your love and serve.  Perhaps you will listen after a tough day at school,  join in a fun play day, listen to a child read, -- oh, your activities are going to be endless.  I know the first time you put your paw up to them it will melt their heart.  You have melted my heart in so many ways.   You are on a new adventure that I can't wait to hear all about!  Okay ... a few tears to be shed while I am typing this.  It's all good, though.  Wear your "Proud to be a Retired Guide Dog" collar with honor my sweet girl.  You are in my heart forever.  With much love and gratitude.   I'll be by to give you a big hug after you get settled in.  



Friday, July 11, 2014

Grateful for Blogging. Friendships formed.

Even in the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit -- a magic blend of skills, faith and valor - that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory -- Wallace Lord, Author

Such a blessing to go to the beautiful WW II Exhibit and feel deep gratitude and inspiration.  Also wonderful to meet up with friends!  

One of the best blessings about blogging is the connections - friendships that I have formed!  Kathy and I connected through my blog some time ago.  We began to chat and recognized that we had SO much in common!  One of which was Retinitis Pigmentosa -- so much more!!  I was super excited to learn that we would be in DC the same time!  They would be visiting their son!  We planned a lunch,  and I was super excited!  Then, it worked out that we were both at the mall and also able to meet up a couple days prior.  Then, Steve and Natalie connected with them for the fireworks.  So by the time we met for lunch, it felt like we had known each other forever :)!  Love you, Kathy and looking forward to our next time.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moments in DC

Tradition to take a picture with the artist of the painting we buy!  
Running a 10K around the White House and Mall ... a pretty amazing way to start 4th of July/Natalie's birthday celebration!  
Fireworks on the 4th of July in Washington, DC!!  
Salad at Chop-t!  
Martin Luther King exhibit.  Hot pavement so Georgie is in her booties!  
Walking to Eastern Market - enjoying time with Natalie while the dogs happily walk.

Greeting Natalie at the Metro stop!  
Posing at the Capitol
Caught in a downpour walking up to Natalie's house!  

Life is many sweet moments shared with others.  Savoring the many special moments in DC with Steve and Natalie.  


Monday, July 7, 2014

Favorites

Steve, Georgie and I just spent six days in Washington, DC visiting Natalie and Dahlia. It was fantastic. We walked and walked and walked and experienced many wonderful things. I think my favorite was just being together with these two! Awesomeness! Miss you already, Natalie!
Lunch at Chop-it near Natalie's office.  A favorite -- went there twice!  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Girl

How fun to get a clip of Natalie doing her job in DC: Our Girl

Super excited to see her next week!  Georgie will be taking her fourth and fifth flight and many new adventures!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy 3 Month Anniversary, Georgie Girl

Today marks three months since Georgie Girl and I became a team.  I adore this sweet girl.  I love her spunk.  I love her energy.  I love how she sits right by my feet while I am at the computer.  I love her joy of working as a guide.  I love how she gets so excited and then searches for just the right bone to present to someone as her offering of love.  I love that I could tell her when entering the grocery store - Find Kendall and she knows who Kendall is now and looked until she found him.   We are learning about each other.   Yesterday we had our third pedicure since becoming a team :).  She turns right into the aisle for the Diet Coke at the Convenience Store near our office.  She even has become my little alarm when the end of an hour session is up at the office.  Each of my guides have special places in my heart.  She has wiggled her way into a very special place.  I'm excited for the adventures that we will share together.

For some reason this little sidewalk has been giving Georgie Girl some concerns.  Thank you to GDB and the support center. They have given me some great training tips that helped tremendously.  Today she walked up this sidewalk with all the confidence in the world.  
Laughed at these two - looking a bit sad on a Monday morning.  They were hanging close while I get ready in the morning.  As I type this, Cricket is off for a long walk with Kendall :) and Georgie is at my feet.

Here's to many, many years together Sweet Georgie Girl.  Next week she will have her first major outing as we fly to Washington, DC for family visiting and adventures!