I wanted to share a part of the beautiful gift of a guide dog that isn't so easy. Retirement. After serving as my guide dog for almost seven years, Cricket has communicated recently she is ready to begin retirement planning. I recognized it clearly about a week ago, after a super busy day at the office, she just wasn't into going to an evening event. I felt the pain - I thought ... really? No - can you work for another couple years, I asked her? She seemed to be saying ...I am so loyal and devoted to you that I can keep on trying but ... Her love, service, and loyalty are inspiring. However, I recognize that it is my time to give her the gift of a beautiful retirement. Cricket has had an incredible career and has touched many, many lives.
I am so grateful for the incredible support of Guide Dogs for the Blind in helping us navigate this process. As you can imagine, this transition comes with many emotions - mostly deep gratitude for Cricket and everyone involved.
I am so grateful that Cricket and I have the gift to do some planning in this transition. She is very healthy and happy. She hopefully has many great years left to enjoy life and share her love. She has given 100+% as my guide dog. She also has been a beautiful, compassionate companion loved by so many. She has had an incredible busy, active life as a guide dog.
We have the blessing of this being a transition over the next couple months. She will continue to work part-time - travel with me on a couple more trips, go to my office and other meetings, and also transition into more time off harness. A retirement party both at our office ... home and on our blog :) will be planned. Cricket and I both love celebrations! I see her having an incredible second career as a therapy dog or perhaps another line of work :) or perhaps she will just enjoy being pampered at home. We shall see ... we are taking it a day at a time and listening to what her sweet heart says. She will let me know. My job is to listen. I've done it for seven years as she's guided me safely throughout the country in so many beautiful, amazing experiences.
In the meantime, the picture below is a sweet memory of Cricket and Steve helping me get all the items from Costco for our Annual Grief and the Holidays Event two years ago.