It was recently brought to my attention that not everyone who reads this blog may necessarily know everyone who makes up the Mr. and Mrs. K household. I thought that I would take a few posts to re-introduce everyone; kind of a reminder to some and maybe even to myself. Some family members do not live with us anymore, but are still considered a part of our family. I think we should pay tribute to those fuzzies as well. I thought today we'd start with the dog who began this blog with me.
It was in December of 2006 that I started writing this blog; at least, I think it was 2006. I had started it to try to document the things happening in my life so that I could look back. A lot of things have changed since then, but the one thing that remains is that the dog who inspired those first posts still holds a very special place in my heart and I miss having her around.
Jetta, a 53 LBS Black Labrador, was my first guide dog. She and I were matched on July 03 2002 and we worked together until August of 2008. Our working relationship was a bit shorter than most, but she was a very busy girl, guiding me practically around the globe, and so I really think she deserved an early retirement.
Besides going to swimming competitions all over the world, Jetta was there during some pretty significant times in my life. She is the one who walked me across the stage when I graduated from my under Grad program and although less glamorous, she made sure I was safe during every day tasks. She even kept me from getting run over by a semi-truck on our university campus. I posted about this incident, with a few choice words.
Jetta taught me a lot about working with and training dogs and also stole my heart with her little hip wiggle and big attitude. She was always plotting and sometimes her carefully laid plans were worth the waiting. Once, we found her with all four paws on Tenie's dresser, attempting to steal the chocolate bar Tenie had pushed up against her mirror. Other times her schemes didn't go as planned, like when she would sneak off to Tenie or Carmen's rooms in order to avoid going to swim practice at 5 AM. I often caught her before she even made it to the girls' doors, but she definitely put in her best effort.
Jetta is now eleven years old and living a happy life with my parents. Retiring her wasn't a difficult decision for me as she decided for herself, as only Jetta would, but giving her up was hard. I knew where she was going and I could see her from time to time and that made my decision a bit easier. I was moving to a new city and getting a new guide dog and I didn't feel that I was in a position to keep her, learn a new city and bond with a new guide dog. So, my parents happily took her.
Since retiring, Jetta's adventures haven't ended. She hasn't necessarily had to fly on planes anymore, but she has taken many road trips. She gets to go camping and run around in the forest. Basically, she gets to be a real dog. I always get to see her when visiting my parents and she insists sleeping on my feet. She even loves Mr. K to death, which is kind of funny because Jetta is not your typical Lab. She is not super affectionate and usually keeps to herself. Even when my mom takes Jetta to the dog park, she would rather go off and sniff and frolic on her own.
So, even though Jetta is on a completely different continent, I still consider her a part of our family. She may not necessarily live in our household, but she is most certainly in my thoughts.