by Guiding Eyes grad Donna Elliott
When we received our dogs
I was in for a surprise
There was this black, male lab
And I was struck by his size.
He wasn’t what I asked for
Or what I thought I wanted
When we began to work
He didn’t walk, he sauntered.
In a two and a half room apartment
Where ever would I put him?
Why did he seem to walk so slow?
Was his choice for me a whim?
I quickly saw Akron’s sweetness
His good house manners, and desire to obey
His puppy raiser had taught him well
So my feelings began to sway.
He just was so lovable
Someone had clearly spent the time
To teach him right from wrong
His behavior really was sublime.
His pace began to pick up
I was amazed how quickly we bonded
Each day I saw improvements
Gone were those questions I had pondered.
I’d rearrange the furniture
I’d give away the kitchen table
I’d use a dog crate as desk
I’d make any change that I was able.
His puppy raiser had loved him
And taught him obedience and manners
Then he went to Guiding Eyes to learn to use
A harness and new commands with his trainers.
The trainers are encouraging
Supportive and innovative
If one thing doesn’t work
They can always be creative.
In addition to our working
There’s playtime with my Big Boy
Lots of praise and petting
And from home I brought some toys.
We learned to know each other
And practiced every day
All we learned at Guiding Eyes
That has brought us all this way.
Things began to meld and gel
And now we are a team
He wasn’t what I expected
But now, he is a dream.
And now it’s Graduation
And with Akron by my side
I’m ready to head home
With my wonderful new dog guide.