My class got out early today, so we took the longer way around to the parking garage since it was so nice out and Rocky need a chance to go busy. Rocky was walking along beside me, out of coat. As we passed a building we saw a yellow lab staring at us. I saw that there was a harness on the ground and since the dog was not really listening to his owner, I told him what his dog was looking at. He wanted to come meet Rocky and myself so he picked up the harness and walked over. Rocky was so good and just sat down, while Otto, the other dog was trying to say hi to Rocky. Otto was about 20 lbs smaller than Rocky and just a little bit darker, a gorgeous lab. He was 4 years old and I found out that I had actually met the man about 3 years ago when my sister was cleaning out her stuff at the ceramic studio at school. It was right before he was leaving to get his new dog. He has had 2 other guide dogs that both lived to be 15 years old; he said the secret was to not let them get fat. As we left, Otto got his harness put on and was a totally different dog.
I never get tired of watching service animals work; it is truly amazing how smart they are. I have seen several guide dog teams and assistance dog teams at school and love to watch to see what Rocky will be doing in a few more months.
Our little encounter made me realize just how ready Rocky is to continue on with his journey in the coming weeks.