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Monday, February 14, 2011

Thinking of LD Mike

(Happy Valentine's Day to all!)

FLD Gus wanders into the kitchen just as Andy and I sit  for dinner.  Gus.  Mat.  I command.  He stops in mid-step and stares at me.  I stare back and mentally start counting, One one thousand, two one thousand...  He backs up to his mat and sits.

Good mat, Mike,  I say, I mean, Gus.  He looks at me like he's thinking, "Why are you always calling me Mike?  My name is GUS.  G. U. S.  GUS.

Or maybe that's just what I'M thinking.  Mike has been on my mind lately.

LD Mike met his person, Wayne, Friday.  He has a new home (in Illinois), and a new job with Wayne.  Mike is a LEADER DOG now. 

Wayne called me Friday evening to let me know that Mike and he are bonding already, that Mike will have a loving home.  I have no doubt about that.  Mike is a special dog and Wayne's gracious "Thank you" on the phone brought tears to my eyes.  It's felt like Christmas all week, finding out that Mike was graduating and his new partner was eager to be in touch with Mike's raiser--me!

During the next week to ten days, Wayne and Mike with be training together with another Mike--a trainer from Leader Dogs for the Blind--to make sure they get off to a great start.  Wayne tells me that Wednesday will be a big day; a train ride and/or bus ride into Chicago.  I guess I was too excited to get the exact details.  Wayne started his own blog (My Leader Dog Journal) to keep LD Mike's story going, so perhaps he'll set me straight. 

Here are a few details I think I can get right...

Wayne told me he is a substitute teacher, so LD Mike will be going back to school.  Wayne, I never told you how good Mike was when I took him to class with me at Eastern Michigan University.  He would like down at my side and fall fast asleep.  Oh...his snoring during lectures did elicit snickers from my classmates, but luckily my professor was a good sport! 

Leni is Wayne's wife and together they are raising a lab/shepherd mix, six-month-old male puppy named Harley to donate to another guide dog school.  After Harley goes for formal training, Leni and Wayne would like to raise a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind.  What a wonderful gift for them to give, and a great experience!  And LD Mike has a buddy to show the ropes to and play with when he's not working.

Can a puppy-raiser ask for anything more?--A puppy raised and graduated, and able to be in contact with his handler.  Perfect closure, a long time coming. 

I thought that I was settling down with this news about LD Mike and Wayne.  I guess my name-slip today with FLD Gus indicates that Mike (and Wayne) is still on my mind.  (Can't wait for more posts on your blog, Wayne!)

Sorry Gus, I'll try to do better.

FLD GUS.  G. U. S.  GUS!


  1. Excellent news for you and Mike.
    Well done for all your hard work. I'm sure it will be brilliant to follow the blog and see how much you have made a difference to someones life through raising a puppy. Hopefully you can meet him again sometime and get to see him working for yourself.
    That would be brilliant, to own a guide dog while raising a puppy for an organisation at the same time. I just need to find a boyfriend who likes training dogs!

  2. Thanks Jen! This week has just been terrific!