Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gda on TV

Watch a local news story about the wild fire, how it affected GDA and how they delt with it.

Watch the video

I don't know how long this video will be on the website, so I apologize in advance if you go looking for it and it is not there.

p.s. See if you can find Tai!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wildfires in Southern California

First: at the time of this writing, 7:52 on Sunday, November 16, everything is fine. The Sayre fire in Sylmar is still raging, but Guide Dogs of America is still there and everyone is fine. The dogs were evacuated early Saturday morning. So, as longtime volunteers and puppyraisers, we got the email: all those who want to take an evacuated dog home, drive to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

We jumped in the car and drove.

This is what I love about our organization: there were 70 dogs... and about 100 people showed up. The school released the in-for-training dogs to their puppyraisers, and those who weren't there went home with other puppyraisers for the weekend. That means...


Tai only got to spend one day with our daughter Zoe, before he was turned in. Tai is in LOVE with her, although he wants to kiss her just a tad bit too emphatically (pictures to follow). But he is HERE! This doesn't happen with our school - we don't see the dogs after they go in. He looks fabulous - BIG and gorgeous and so sweet. He hasn't changed a bit. We love him.

So, at the time of this writing, he goes back tomorrow. It was a weekend pass, a wonderful day and a half where he got to play with Big Sister Paige and The Brudder himself, Truman. It will be hard to give him back again, but we were able to help keep him safe, and he will continue his progress to be someone else's dog. We wouldn't change it for anything.

p.s. Kind of ironic that I finished the last post wondering how big Tai is, how he is doing, and what we/ he would do when we saw him again. I wrote that the day before we got him back. Amazing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tai Passed Prelims!

Just about a month ago, although it seems far too long, we got a postcard from Tai, saying that he was working left and right turns up at GDA. We got the third postcard yesterday (Zoe was asleep, so we did the quietest happy dance ever), saying that Tai had passed his first preliminary test. The trainers go under blindfold and the dog goes through a basic route, everything they have learned up until now.

He passed. Yay! (Yay also to Velo, his buddy up at the school and also from South Bay group who got the same postcard.)

Paige didn't make it this far - this was the point where she became my mom's couch potato. We are SO PROUD of Tai and there is no end to the fun of speculating on A) how big he is B) how well he is doing, and C) what he will do (and what we will do) when we see him again.