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They say “You’re matched”, I knew they would,
You gave it your all, to be the best you could.
For you were born – a selected few,
With such an important job to do.

Safari, you came to me, that special day,
A bundle of joy, just wanting to play.
We played, we worked, we were a team,
Becoming a guide was more than a dream.

Black Lab Atlas is a puppy on program. Here he is gorgeously silhouetted against a beach background.Safari, my two years with you, went so fast,
Oh, how I wanted it to last!
But in my heart I always knew,
There was someone named Eli who needed you.

Safari you went off to school, still just a pup,
And now you’re a Guide Dog, all grown up.
You traded your puppy coat for a harness, it’s true,
Can’t wait to get a glimpse of you!

Safari, you’ll know when to sit or lie on the floor,
I’ll proudly watch as you guide Eli to the door.
You’ll stay by the side of your new found friend,
For the depth of your loyalty has no end.

Safari, give it your best, working day after day,
Guiding Eli and leading the way.
When you grow old and start to slow,
There’s just one think I want you to know.

Safari, if you and Eli should have to part,
You can come back home, where you got your start.
Safari, you’re in my heart, a part of me,
The puppy I loved – the guide dog to be.

Puppy raiser Chris O’Connell wrote this poem in honor of his time raising Safari, who served as loyal guide dog to Eli Berkenfeld for a number of years.