The Guide Dog Memos: Rick

September is National Guide Dog Awareness Month

Photo Collage Rick GravitIn recognition of Guide Dog Awareness Month I will give it my best effort to feature one dog each week during the month of September. “National Guide Dog Month is a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the United States as a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the United States. It was established in 2008, as a fundraising drive to benefit non-profit guide dog organizations accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.”*

Today I want to share some words of wisdom from Rick a beautiful black lab with blond on his legs, chest, muzzle and brows.

Rick and his handler, Mike Gravitt, worked together as a phenomenal team for 10 years. While I was a little sad to hear that Rick would be officially retiring on August 20 of this year the good news is he’s in excellent health, was adopted by a friend of Mike’s who happens to be a vet technician, and will enjoy the rest of his life just being a dog.

When you are flying, you do not talk to the pilot. When you are on a bus at night in the rain, you do not talk to the bus driver. When you see me with my handler doing my job, please kindly let me do it safely. ~Rick

Image: collage of three photos featuring Rick as a puppy, at work and enjoying the sunshine after church.

Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!! ~Steph


Published by Stephanae

👩🏾‍🦯 | INTJ | HSP | Collector of knowledge | Alpaca Fanatic “If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I'm going.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee Hi, I'm Steph! I'm a highly sensitive proud introvert and a recovering people-pleaser. These traits or quirks used to bother me because I always felt out of place until I began a recent process of self-acceptance. While I'm still a work in progress, I view my quirks as my superpowers and am grateful that they contribute to who I am today.

25 thoughts on “The Guide Dog Memos: Rick

  1. I guess the ones who make it have the intelligence of a doggy Einstein and the patience of a doggy saint.

  2. I have so much respect for guide dogs. They always seem to be so incredibly calm and well-trained. I’m glad Rick is now going to enjoy a well-earned retirement. 🙂

  3. Oh, such a beautiful and moving post, Steph. How wonderful are these furry friends that add so much value to our lives! May Rick enjoy his retirement. 🙂

  4. Thank you Brigid!! Rick is such a sweetie and while I’ll miss seeing him with Mike it’s good to know he will be well taken care of and enjoying life in retirement. Thanks for coming by 😃

  5. I’m sure it is a big commitment. I’m of the mind that you will know when you are ready and then, it’ll be “right.” Glad you rescued a dog that turned out to fit with your household perfectly. Rescues are the best.

  6. Rick and all his wonderful friends are so amazing. Not too mention how intelligent and helpful they are!! I’m glad Rick gets to retire to relax and enjoy life just like the rest of us get to do…I’m also happy to know he was adopted by Mike’s friend so that they both can continue to be great friends! How caring of you to recognize these special helpers this month. I’ve been feeling the need to make a donation but wasn’t sure where, think you just answered my question!! Thanks… 🙂

  7. They are so amazing! I haven’t heard of an Anatolia Shepherd so I’m googling images in a second to see what they look like. Poor thing. My dog is not a guide dog but she was also a rescue and it took some time for her to get used to my crazy household and now she’s a nutty as the rest of my family, and I love her to pieces. I’ve been wavering back and forth as to whether I should train for a guide dog and I’m just not sure I’m ready. It’s such a heavy commitment.

  8. I am in awe of all service dogs. I’m glad that Rick is going to have some years where he can just be a dog, but I bet he will miss the work. I really think they do enjoy it. I met a service dog in training a couple of weeks ago in the waiting room of a VA hospital. I asked the owner/handler (a disabled veteran) if I could pet him and, after he thanked me for asking for permission, he said no, because the dog was a rescue from an abusive situation and was still a little antsy in crowds and stressful situations. The dog did great, but I could tell he was a little scared and unsure of people he didn’t know. It was an Anatolia Shepherd and was very hard to NOT pet. I would not have even asked, had they been doing anything but sitting there, waiting.

  9. This was a moving story of Rick starting his retirement as a good old boy (dog).Thanks for doing this particular segment.

  10. Yes, I’ve heard the training is very strenuous but as you say in the end it is gratifying. Guide dogs as well as other service animals are pretty remarkable. Thanks for stopping by and commenting 😄

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