This morning, Bohdie and I shared a muffin at the local coffee shop. Bohdie loves the coffee shop…he’s like a little maitre’d, greeting the regulars and checking out the display cases with a practiced eye. As I struggled to contain his enthusiastic socializing, I experienced a moment of true holiday joy.
At a table nearby, a 16-year-old girl sat with her dog. Wearing a Guiding Eye Dog harness this lovely dog sat quietly, attentively and patiently as the girl rose to her feet. She and her new dog–a Christmas gift of stunningly epic proportions–prepared to leave. Challenged not only by blindness but cerebral palsy as well, she gripped the harness and gathered her courage. She took a deep breath and off they went. Her dog guided her slowly and carefully through the cafe and as they passed my table, I said softly, “Beautiful dog.” Her face lit up with a radiant smile and my eyes filled with tears. I silently wished them a long and happy life together.
As Bohdan and I walked home, I thought about the girl and her dog and the life they would share. She would love, trust and care for this dog and he would, in turn, give her confidence, independence and freedom. Merry Christmas, indeed.
As we put away our coats, I headed to my “to do” pile. I sorted through the envelopes until I found the one I was looking for: Guiding Eyes For The Blind. I got out my checkbook.