One Year Anniversary

A year ago yesterday morning, I was sitting at home waiting to be picking up by the good folks at Guiding Eyes For the Blind. I was apprehensive, nervous, excited, and scared not knowing what the next month would bring, and how having a guide dog would affect my life. I had never had a dog, and quite frankly wasn’t sure what to expect. In my preconceived idea, guide dogs weren’t the friendliest of dogs, and if I was going to have to walk a dog every day, I wanted one that was friendly and playful. On the flip side a year ago today, there was a brave little dog living in a kennel at Guiding Eyes For the Blind. In a little over two years he had been born, left his daddy and mommy, went to puppy raisers, then was taken from them, went to a trainer at Guiding Eyes, and was now living in a kennel not knowing what was in store for him. A year ago tomorrow afternoon, I was sitting in the GEB dormitory. I had just been told that I was receiving a male dog named Nash. Wow, what kind of a weird name is that? Ugh, people are going to think I named him for Nashville or that Don Johnson show Nash Bridges. That isn’t going to be good. I was waiting for the knock on the door, then it came, and Susan entered with this hyper dog named Nash. She handed the leash to me, and eventually left the two of us alone. This dog Nash was not happy about her leaving, he ran me from one end of the room to the other between both doors in the room. Oh God, what did I get myself into, this is never going to work out!

FlashForward to a April 29, 2010. The world hasn’t ended, but hey that isn’t supposed to happen until 12/21/12, and no, I am not talking about the awful movie 2012. Sorry to get sidetracked. Ok, so on the eve of Nash and my one year anniversary together April 29th, how have my thoughts changed. WOW, what a difference a year can make, a dog can make in your life, and most importantly a guide dog can make compared to a cane. I can’t even remember getting around with a cane, and it was only a year ago. Not only is Nash a fantastic guide, but he is unbelievably friendly and cuddly, almost too friendly to be a guide dog, oh yeah, and he is cute to. I have had to come up with a response, as Nash is constantly getting compliments, most commonly, oh my what a gorgeous dog, to which I respond, thank you, he has my genes! Not only does Nash make getting around a lot easier, but people are so much friendlier to me. It is like night and day to how people treat cane users compared to people with guide dogs. There should be a sociological experiment done, yes, it is that much of a difference.

So what do Nash and I have planned for our one year anniversary? Why, a nice romantic dinner for two. Ok, that would be weird. I will not be serving Nash his dinner tomorrow night by candlelight. Yeah, candles and blind people are a bad idea. We plan to go for a nice long walk tomorrow, stop by the pet store to pick Nash up a bone with peanut butter, yes he loves his PB and his bones, more than his toys. He destroys his toys, hey that rhymes, hence one of sir-nash-a-lots many nicknames, the toyminator. And how do I feel about the name Nash a year later? Well, just consider all the names I call him by, Mr. Nashee, my little Nashee, Nashee Nasherstein, Nashalaa, the Nashster, who’s the nashiest Nashser Nashee Nashers, and buddy.

So, looking back to a year ago, I would have to say the decision to go to Guiding Eyes was one of the best decisions of my life, and putting it off for a few months because of work and because I wasn’t sure I wanted a guide dog, turned out to be pretty good because if I would have went in earlier than I did, I wouldn’t have gotten the Nashster! Happy almost anniversary Nash.

12 Responses to “One Year Anniversary”

  1. Susan Says:

    Hah, I remember that first day…never heard of anyone doing laps in the room with their dog before. And all the hard work you put in after that really paid off. I’m very happy for you both – Happy Anniversary, Brian and Nash!

  2. deb k. Says:

    Happy Anniversary to Brian & Nash! May your day be a pawriffic one filled with lots of treats! It only gets better and the unconditional love and support grows stronger every day!

  3. Joann McSorley Says:

    What a surprise, Macon and I share the same anniversary. You should have mentioned the wonderful people you met at dog school – I believe that there were two of us! One bald and one beautiful. O, I forgot, you can’t see! The one thing that I find amazing is that everyone I spoke to at school said that we would finally be a true team in about a year. Naturally, I didn’t believe any of this but hav found it to be very true.

    Hope you and Nash have many happy, wonderful years together. Take care of yourself and your wonderful, hairy friend.


  4. Robbin Says:

    Happy Anniversary Nash and Brian! I’ve enjoy the journey you have shared with each other and with us. Many more!!

  5. aunt lona Says:

    Sure get me all teary eyed. That is one of the niciest most sentimental thing I have ever read. You and nash are great. I love both of you very much. Happy one year anniversary. Hope to see you both soon. Much love aunt lona

  6. Barbara Fischler Says:

    What a difference a year makes!!! I cannot imagine our family without Nash. He has made my son so much happier and for that I am eternally grateful!! He even has his own portrait now, created because of the love we all have for Nash. Happy Anniversary to two very special (well I was going to say people but then Nash is like a puppy-person). Love you both.

  7. blindgator Says:

    Thank you all for the nice comments, Nash and I just got back from our last walk of the evening, and sure enough the little guy just jumped into my bed.

    Susan, thanks so much for all your hard work with Nashee and me, it sure has paid off, now if we could only get him to one day stop sniffing, oh yeah, he is a dog.

    JoAnne, Happy Anniversary to you and Macon. Hard to believe a year has gone by since we sat in that kitchenette rehashing the days funny events. Hey, at least we don’t have to get up at 6am anymore.

    Again, thanks to everyone for their wishes and reading about Nash and me. Nash sends a big lick out to everyone.

  8. Barbara Fischler Says:

    just got the lick and loving it!!!!

  9. blindgator Says:

    Then Nash sends you a second lick. We just got back from the pet store, as we picked Nash up a couple of stuffed bones. He is happily chewing away on one now, and loving it. He is easy to shop for.

  10. Barbara Fischler Says:

    glad you two had a great day….wish we were together. loving all the news.

  11. Anne Garretson Says:

    Hi Biran –
    You and I haven’t met, but Nash and I have. I’m another puppy raiser in the same region the Nashter lived in, now raising GEB pup #4. Just wanted to thank you so much for your blog and anniversary report. You cannot possibly imagine how HUGE a reward it is for puppy raisers to hear the rest of the guide dog story once our chapter ends…even better than peanut butter! Congratulations on your 1st year together.

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