A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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Growing our home and hearts before a Guide Dog arrives
18 Oct
By 2020Visionquest
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Nama, a black-mouth cur, sits with an eager and mischievous expression

Meet Nama, the newest addition to the Pierce family.

“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”
— Roger A. Caras

First and foremost, let me introduce you all to Nama! Tracy and I adopted her from the Nashua Humane Society on October 12, 2020. She is a beautiful 7-month old girl who joins us from Arkansas. We first met Nama on our 10th wedding anniversary as Tracy and she played a little peek-a-boo around an enclosure as we stopped to explore possibilities.

There are many disappointing aspects to this pandemic. For me, one of the most significant is the reality my next Guide Dog is likely not going to be able to be matched to me by the excellent folks at Guide Dogs for the Blind for many months or even into a year from now. I miss the influence of a dog in my life even more than the wonders of a guide in my life. Tracy and I both miss the companionship brought into our home by the pitter patter of puppy paws. Given that it was going to be so long, we decided to take action and rescue a dog who could benefit from our loving home while giving us the gifts that come from such partnerships.

While Nama will not be my Guide Dog, she will need to live harmoniously with my future guide and so that was a consideration in our selection. It will similarly be a consideration in our training and work with her to ensure we are all ready for when our home will have a second dog join the family. With that mindset, Nama is primarily Tracy’s dog, but as with many things in our lives, we share so much of the experiences.

Randy (in a red sweatshirt) plays with the brown puppy Nama, who lies on her back displaying her belly and looking for pettings.

“Pet me, dad! My belly needs a good scritching!”

So yes, I get to rub the belly of a wriggly upside-down Nama. I do so, letting Tracy take the lead in most things just as she will need to allow me to take the lead in bonding with my eventual pup who will be my working partner as well as loved companion. In this, we chose not let COVID-19 define or restrict us but rather to make a positive step for all of us that will have ripples well beyond the pandemic. We are all so much happier for that choice and I think there’s a lesson there for any of us!

Be well,
Randy Pierce

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