25th Anniversary of Caitlin’s Birth

My first Seeing Eye dog, Caitlin, was born in Chester, New Jersey twenty-five years ago today. She was a chocolate Labrador Retriever. We were matched in January, 1994. Caitlin died July 10, 2006.

In August, 2016 I returned to The Seeing Eyeffor my third dog. I went to the Memory Garden where there is a plaque commemorating all the late dog guides. I sat down alone with my new dog, Nick and began to cry. I sobbed and sobbed.

Caitlin has been gone over eleven years. I still choke up remembering her. She taught me so much:

  • * To handle a dog guide with confidence
  • * What a dog’s sense of humor looks like

* To ask for help when I am lost (We worked before cell phones and GPS were ubiquitous.)

* To trust a dog implicitly.

She guided me competently and loyally through many difficult times. I will never forget her.

This is the poem I wrote on her first birthday after her death.

.   I Miss Her

In the daily tasks,
in the ordinary doing of things,
I miss her.

25 minutes to an appointment–
I will take her out. There is time for that.
And then, I miss her.

I will sit in my chair.
She will come to be petted, to ask for a biscuit.
And then, I miss her.

I lay down in bed at night and listen
for her breathing by the foot of the bed.
And then, I miss her.

I awake in the morning and check the time.
I will dress and take her out.
And then, I miss her.

Her water bowl is no longer on the floor
under the dishwasher door when I load and unload.
And then, I miss her.

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