Ah, Thunder, We Barely Knew You

By William H. Grignon


Well, Thunder, the Yellow Lab who was supposed to be my guide dog, came, plodded, and went back from whence he came. In a nutshell, it wasn’t a fit.


Thunder was gentle, loving, and affectionate. He just wasn’t too enthusiastic to guide me at the pace I needed. He would also lose focus and start wandering off the intended route, veering into driveways and meandering around to find curb cuts. Even though it was only in the high seventies, he pooped out quite quickly and, at one point, just sat down, as if to say: “I’m sorry, but that’s all I have.”


It wasn’t a total loss, however. I got the chance to see what it felt like to be a guide dog handler and glimpse the kind of focus, attention, and responsibility being a handler required. It is an awesome responsibility and, truthfully, it was rather scary.


In the end, it was a hard lesson learned: I am not ready for a guide dog and, if I am brutally honest with myself, I never will be. I only hope Thunder can be matched with someone who likes to dawdle along and who can reciprocate Thunder’s loving nature.

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