Monday, October 10, 2016

19 years & 19 lessons from my guide dogs

Nineteen years ago today, October 11, 1997 I graduated from Guide Dogs for the Blind with my first guide dog, Pantera.  It is a busy day starting with a run prepparing for an upcoming marathon, full day at the office and a book signing tonight.  In the middle there will be time to take a walk with Georgie.  Throughout the day I will also reflect that this is a special day!  I was reminded 19 years ago that many doors could open up in my life and to truly live like someone left the gate open :).   

I have learned so much from my three beautiful guide dogs: Pantera, Cricket and Georgina.

Celebrating 19 years with 19 life lessons from my guides:

1.  Help your friends get to the top. (Picture is Becky and Cricket near the top of Angel's Landing at Zions).

2.  Help another find what they love.  (Picture is Georgie by Becky's feet in the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Store.)

3.  Smile often. (Picture is Becky and Cricket on the Legacy Trail - Becky and Cricket have big smiles)
4.  Sometimes we help another gain wisdom from what we tell our guide - Look up, move forward. (Picture is Becky & Melanie with Georgie).

5.  Sometimes its time to step aside and let someone else lead.  (Picture is of Cricket (my second guide) and Pantera (my first guide - retired at the time) with Pantera stepping in the background.)

6.  Celebrate your story.  (Picture is Becky and Georgie at a book signing.)

7.  Enjoy the journey.  (Picture is Steve and Becky walking hand in hand and on the left side Becky holding on to Georgie's harness).
8.  Sometimes we support by cheering on from the sidelines.  (Picture is Suzette, Becky and Brenda running - while Georgie is home patiently waiting.)

9.  Take time to reflect.  (Picture is Becky and Cricket looking out at the ocean.)

10.  There are many ways to love and serve.  (Cricket after retirement walking with her new family.)
11.  Many wonderful friendships are made through the Guide Dogs for the Blind family.  (Picture is of Debi and Becky with Cricket.)  

12.  Embrace the opportunities to educate about the marvelous work of Guide Dogs. (Becky and Boy Scout Troop with Cricket)

13.   Patience.  Sometimes your people will wait in line for a long time for your Olympic Beret.  (Picture is the Andrews family and guide Pantera with their 2002 Olympic Berets).

14.   Treasure your friends.  (Picture is Cricket and friends Culver, Desma and Dakota).

15.   Keep learning.  (Picture of Georgie in harness).  

16.   Keep your sense of humor.  (Picture is Cricket surrounded by Poinsettias being taken to the office.)

17. Always be ready for an adventure.  (Picture of Becky, Natalie and Georgie at Mt. Vernon).
18.  Be a good listener.   (Picture is Cricket whispering into Morton's ear.)
19.  Be grateful for love, kindness, and encouraging words from others.  (Picture is Cricket in her bandage which the vet has written Good Luck Cricket)

I feel gratitude today and everyday for my beautiful guide dogs that have guided me safely day after day.  As Steve said 19 years ago to our kids at the airport after graduation .. mom has her pace back!  

Thank you Pantera, Cricket and Georgie ... you've changed my life for the better in so many ways!  

First picture is family picture just after I returned home with Pantera. We are all dressed in our Aggie gear.  Second picture is family picture several years later again in our Aggie attire sitting on the "A".  

Picture below is family and friends Brenda and Suzette after the Boston Marathon with Georgie.

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