It’s truly amazing how fast ten years pass. It’s also incredible how much life and learning can be packed into that decade. When I was thirteen, I received my first guide dog from BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, I am now twenty-three. My first guide dog, Trep, has walked across the stage with me at my junior high and high school graduations, slept through three years of university lectures, travelled all over Canada, lived for three months with me in Peru, attended dozens of Whitecaps games, flown on over fifty flights, travelled down thousands of kilometres of sidewalk, and has guided me around countless obstacles. I think it is fair to say he has earned his retirement ten times over.
Enter my second dog, Telus. Telus is a fresh burst of energy. He’s eager to work and go new places, and most importantly, he walks fast. There’s a particular road in my neighbourhood with many poles inconveniently placed down the middle of the sidewalk. When Telus and I zoom down that sidewalk, Telus guiding me around the poles at speed, I feel like I’m flying. It’s exhilarating, and makes me grin every time. He navigates my university’s campus like he’s been doing it his whole life. He has made the transition between Trep and himself nearly seamless.
Telus is also a very happy dog. He’s constantly wagging his tail, and loves to give frequent kisses. At home he loves to parade around, shuffling his feet, carrying a bone in his mouth as if saying, “Look at me, look at me, I’m so handsome.” He and Trep get along well, and my cat may one day forgive me for allowing another dog into the house.
As I reflect on the last ten years, I cannot believe how many adventures I’ve had with Trep always at my side guiding me. I am eagerly looking forward to all the future holds with Telus now by my side. Thank you so much to his sponsors, puppy raisers, borders, Nick (his trainer), and everyone else at BC and Alberta Guide Dogs that had a hand in his raising and training.