Posts tagged birthday
So, quite a bit to say about Mr. Ralph in this post. I was actually going to write this blog post last week but a lack of motivation and other things on my mind and stuff lead me not to bother till now.
Let me start off by talking about Mr. Ralph’s birthday. It happened on Tuesday. He is nine this year. I know the birthday thing is more my sort of thing. Ralph doesn’t really know its his birthday really but I like to remember it, especially as he is nine now and because this will probably be his last working birthday.
We arrived into work as usual and it was raining and pretty miserable in Carlow so my dad came in and drove me to the office. One of my colleagues remembered me telling her that it was his birthday and brought in some treats for him. I let her give him one and he was delighted with himself. He knew that something out of the ordinary was happening and he was nice and happy. I have kept the rest of them and will give them to him over the next while. I don’t want to be spoiling him with treats and having him getting too use to them either but it was very nice of Kerry to do that for him.
The rest of his day was fairly uneventful. Because of the wet weather we didn’t even get to walk home ourselves. We got out to stretch our legs at lunch time and for Ralph to do his usual important nature calls but another colleague gave me a lift home in the evening. I have decided that in the next while I am going to have him washed and groomed again as it will help just clear all the dead hairs and stuff and have him looking nice and shiny again. I am sure he looks lovely but his coat feels fairly oily and stuff at the moment. Now, maybe its better when it feels like that? Some person more knowledgeable than me on this one might care to comment.
So, what has retirement talk to do with his birthday?
Well, last Wednesday I received a call from the Guide Dogs HQ and, as it happens it was from my instructer that trained Ralph and myself. He is now a team leader and I had mailed him to just see what the story was and stuff and would Ralph need any assessments given the fact he was getting on a bit now. He informed me that I would have an aftercare visit in the next couple of weeks and at this time I was going to be put back on the list for a new dog. Ralph will probably retire in the spring or early summer of 2012. Now, I do feel very strange at the way I am able to talk about this and write about it. I am not sad or anything at present. I don’t think that it has properly registered yet. When it does happen I know I will be very sad but I also know that Ralph will have a great retirement and I do want that for him. At least I know now what will happen in the lead up. While I don’t want to have to think about having to get a new dog I would like to think that enough planning will go into it all to ensure that I can get a good match next time like I was lucky enough to get with Ralph.
After a post that I wrote a few weeks back where I discussed Ralph’s prospects and wondering how long more I would have with him I received an email from Dominique. Dominique is currently on her second dog Opal and she shared with me her story of retiring her previous dog Holly and how she has adapted to life with Opal. She gave me an excellent account of her last working day with Holly and her immotions when she had to take off the harness for the last time but thankfully Opal came along very quickly and they have been a great match and Holly her retired dog still lives with them. Ralph will live with my parents when he retires but it was nice of Dominique to share her story with me.
So, its onwards and upwards hopefully until the middle of 2012 for Ralph. Unless something happens him in the winter with cold weather or something like that we will just take each day as it comes and hopefully he enjoys every minute of the working time he has left.