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14

Tom stopped at the curb looking at me awaiting a “Forward” cue

Happy Birthday to Tommy Dog!  I can’t believe he’s 7 already and been with me for over 5.5 years.  Our lives have changed a lot in those years and probably will continue in the coming years.

Tom is a dog who once again reminds me that invariably the dog I need in my life tends to be the dog who comes into my life.  Now sometimes that dog is there to teach me some lessons or skills or what have you that may wish I didn’t really need to learn (but of course do and it makes me a better person, trainer and dog owner), but sometimes there is the dog like Tom.  Who is a dog I never would have picked.  Or been attracted to.  He’s not a temperament that I tend to gravitate to.

He’s an old soul.  Not a problem dog.  He really has no vices.  He’s not intense.  Or very driven.  Or excitable.  He’s sweet.  And sensitive.  And thoughtful.  And kind.  And pretty much Mr Perfect in all aspects.  And has been since I met him at age 19 months.  He’s really the easiest dog I’ve ever had.  He’s a perfect quiet chill house dog, and he’s a perfect happy on the go guide dog.  And while, yes a lot of that is training, more of it is just who he is as a dog.  More he’s the least dog like dog I’ve ever known.  I’ve lost count the number of people who tell me they either wish their dog was more like Tom or ask me if they can trade and take Tom home.  I’m more of that person who gravitates to the high drive, fast, intense, super smart, keep me on my toes kind of dog.

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Tom guiding me down the sidewalk

But he is, hands down, the dog I have needed in my life the past 5+ years.  He’s unflappable.  He loves me.  He’s patient.  And he’s an excellent worker.  He loves his job.  I can go anywhere with him and trust he will be safe and help keep me safe.  He’s a great team mate and partner.  And he tolerates so much so well.  Though all the changes we’ve experienced, no matter what he just goes with it.  I am grateful every day to the trainers at the Guide Dog Foundation who matched us together.  They did a fantastic job.  And I love my Tommy Tomato to bits and am so glad he is in my life.

Now that he’s 7, I do start to worry a bit about how many years we have left together.  When he’ll want or need to retire.  When I’ll have to start thinking about my 3rd guide dog.  But I can worry about all of that later.  Today is Tom’s day.

So we had a great walk through town.  And he had a bath so is nice soft and super clean.  In a bit my sister and baby niece are coming for a visit and Tom loves the kids.  And likely this afternoon we’ll head outside to just sit in the fall leaves and sun enjoying each others company.  And maybe tonight after my husband gets home we’ll take a special trip to the ice cream shop and get him a cone of his favorite strawberry.  Because Tom is just that special.

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