[nagdu] Retirement age

Tamara Smith-Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Fri Apr 8 01:31:07 UTC 2011


Sweet Nala!  I can sort of see having that dilemma with Mitzi and making the
same sort of accommodation when I start working a newer, younger model.  She
is definitely a go dog, and the worst thing I can ever do to her is to leave
her home.  Well, I guess she will still come along in the truck with her dad
and me and the young interloper -- she will be Daisy's Dad's dog by then,
since Daisy will have moved on, leaving him in Mitzi's care.  Don't know how
Mitzi will deal with being left in the truck while the new dog works,
though...  It should be a long time before we have to find out, but I do

Then, of course, there's Daisy, who practially leaps into the harness when I
hold it out for the poodle.  So we all end up dancing quite a dance so that
I can get the harness on the poodle without ending up with a 3-legged
coonhound guide instead.  /grin/

Glad Shaman is doing well and that Nala still gets to go out and play
sometimes, too.

Tami Smith-Kinney

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Mardi Hadfield
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 4:54 PM
To: nagdu at nfbnet.org
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Retirement age

Hi Marion, I totally agree with you here. Our dogs will let us know when
they want to retire. My first dog began to slow down and show signs of not
wanting to go out with me.She also showed signs that she might not be
well.When I took her to the vet to get her checked, she was diagnosed with
Valley Fever.  She was put on medication and did improve, but she still did
not want to work on some days even though I had reduced her working to just
occasional outings. I retired her. She was 8 years old at that time. She
died unexpectedly, of complications from her illness within 3 months of
retirement.With Nala, she was diagnosed with asthma at 8 years and improved
immensely when put on medication. I thought about retiring her then but she
wanted to continue to work. She was very unhappy when I left her home. When
she was 9 years old she was diagnosed with a mild case of arthritis. She was
put on meds for that as needed. I tried to retire her then. I was looking
for a dog to take over for her, which took a long time to find. Even after I
found Shaman and was training him,she still did not want to retire. It broke
my heart to see her bring me her harness and wait for me to dress her to go
with me,even when she knew I was taking Shaman with me. I gradually used her
less and less and she seemed to be OK with that as long as she got to go
with me sometimes. She was so happy when I took her to a Blind Convention
last summer instead of Shaman. I still take her on short outings once in a
while and she is very happy when I do. I think Nala is the type of dog that
would prefer to work till the day she dies. Nala is the best guide dog I
have had so far.That does mean that my other dogs were not good, it's just
that Nala is one of those exceptional dogs that one is lucky to have in a
life time. Who knows, Shaman may turn out to be one of those also. Have a
great day, Mardi and Shaman and Nala,retired.

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