When I found out the topic for this round was going to be “lessons”, I thought long and hard about what I was going to write.
Both of my current dogs, Lilo and rigby, have taught me tons over the years…
But, I believe the most important lesson I’ve learned did not come from Lilo or rigby, but was given to me by a young Golden named Nuri.
Nuri was a tiny little thing, she Only weighed about 26 kilos. She was given to me after Lilo retired. Her guiding was flawless. She was a fast little girl. When I let her loose in my room at the training centre for the first time, she ran around the room 3 times. On her hind legs! I called her my little circus dog.
I had visions of us working together forever, and conquering the world.
Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. Nuri was only with me for 5 days.
On one of our training walks, a pick up truck drove over a speed bump and abruptly ended our time together. The pick up was carrying planks and made a loud crack when it hit the speed bump. That was it for Nuri. She got such a fright. And couldn’t bounce back. The trainer had to walk us back to the training van.
We agreed to give her a chance and monitor her for sound sensitivity, but Nuri became worse and worse as the time went on. The decision was made to remove Nuri from the training program two days later. Just before our first group walk we were waiting for instructions, There were cars driving past, and Nuri got so frightened that her trainer had to pick her up and put her back into the bus.
Nuri may not have made it as a guide, but her puppy raiser adopted her, and she works as a therapy dog.
No one gave up on Nuri, we just realized she wasn’t meant for guide work and needed to be something different.
I ended up being matched with Rigby which I feel is exactly what was meant to happen.
Nuri taught me that this is not a cookie cutter world, there is always another, perhaps better, option.