Facebook memories are a blessing and a curse.
Take today as an example, today it popped up in my memories that it was seven years ago today that my first guide dog Vicky did her last school run. And my GDMI (Guide Dog Mobility Instructor) took her harness and sash, signifying the start of her retirement.
And this day seven years ago is the very same day I started my training with my second guide dog Fizz.
So, why today is this (usually joyous) memory upsetting?
Because yesterday is 2 months since I did my last working walk with Fizz. Before she retired and was rehomed via Guide Dogs.
Sadly, Fizz retired before a third dog has been found for me; what with a global pandemic, delays have been incurred and I continue to wait for ‘The Call’.
I have returned to using my cane, who has aptly gained the nickname ‘Candy’ because of her red and white stripes. (which are the universal symbol of a person with both sight and hearing loss)
And it is bit of a love – hate relationship at times, being totally honest. I am grateful it is a skill that I have maintained as I am able to keep my independence. However the regular cane jabs and bumps are something I would happily live without.
Fizz retired at the grand age of ten and half, she had worked with me for just under 7 years and it was time for her to be able to put her paws up, not have to concentrate on keeping me safe and sniff all those smells she usually has to ignore while in harness.
The Guide Dogs charity have been an amazing support to us both during her working life and this has continued in her retirement. They supported me and found Fizz her retirement home.
Fizz has also stayed within the Guide Dog Family, so her new owner has been keeping me updated on how she has settled, on her new canine companions and I have even been fortunate to receive regular photographs with the updates.
It was the right time for Fizz to hang up her harness. This however doesn’t stop me being upset that she has gone. Knowing she is working those puppy eyes and wrapping her new owner around her paws is a great comfort though. She is a very emotionally sensitive dog and it will still be taking her time to adjust to.
Although I am sure not having to guide in wind and rain is surely helping with that.
There are lots of changes happening here for me too, but that’s another post or three! Lets just say, I haven’t been sitting still.