The month of November always seems to be a time when people really focus on what they truly have to be thankful for. In today’s busy world technology can make daily living easier, but at the same time it can create challenges. Social media outlets compete for our attention, smart phones and tablets have us working longer hours, and our list of “things to do” seems to grow longer every day. However, in this month of giving thanks, I am grateful for the reminder that at some point we need to slow down -maybe even stop completely to evaluate what is truly important, remind ourselves of the many blessings brought to our lives, and focus on all those things each and every day.
Two months ago, we added a new “element” to our daily routine. Her name is BOLO, which is an acronym for Be on the Look Out. Her destiny as a future Leader Dog for the Blind, will provide life changing opportunities for someone who is visually impaired or blind. We are humbled as we are reminded of the simple things we take for granted. We knew this puppy would change the way we see the world.
Training BOLO has been a gift. As I have watched her mature from 7 to 16 weeks, I am moved by her eagerness to learn and the ease with which she has acquired important skills.
I am touched by the moments that generate joy and real conversation among strangers as they are drawn to her irresistible cuteness. Technically speaking, I am the trainer, but BOLO is teaching me some valuable lessons as well. She has reminded me how important it is to reward good behavior (in both dogs and humans), how critical it is to stay focused on a task at hand (i.e, multitasking does not work well) , and that at the end of the day- taking time to unwind and have some fun creates behavioral and mental stability as well as ensures a good night’s sleep.
As Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches, I am eternally grateful to have special people in my life, for the chance to strive towards goals, for the ability to watch my daughter grow into a beautiful and talented young lady, for the chance to be surrounded by brilliant, funny, and dedicated people daily, and for the opportunity to truly make a difference for someone in this world by raising a Leader Dog puppy.