Thought I’d drop these off from our 4th of July weekend, which also included a celebration of Grandma’s birthday. (Corin: “How old is Grandma going to be?” Me: [a number that sounds pretty high at 5] Corin: “Oh my. I’m not ready for that yet.”) Lots of fun cousin time for the kiddos and lots of good food for everyone.
I knew when I took that last photo, of my dad with his guide dog, Chief, that it would probably be the last one of the two of them together. Chief is retiring from his life of faithful service and this weekend will be going to join his new family in west Nashville, where he will spend his retirement relaxing and playing with his people and their other two Vizslas. After that very painful parting, my dad will be heading up to Pilot Dogs, where he will meet his new guide dog and spend two weeks training before they travel home together. I think my dad would say partings are by far the hardest part of the otherwise remarkable experience of having a guide dog. It is no small thing to say farewell to a friend and companion who has been by your side nearly every moment for so many years. We’re all losing a member of the family. But Chief is 10, has arthritis and has earned his leisure years. We will miss you, buddy, and hope your days are full of love and joy. Don’t boss those young pups around too much.