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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Guide Dog update – What is the active status?
11 Apr
By 2020Visionquest
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Randy's previous Guide dog Quinn as a golden lab puppy, looking adorably up at the camera.

Randy’s previous Guide Dog Quinn as a young pup.

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch…”
– Fiddler on the Roof

It has been more than half a year since Autumn’s loss and even more time since she had eased into semi-retirement. The realities of Covid-19 and reasonable travel caution has meant that my application for a Guide Dogs for the Blind match was in a holding pattern. They were prepared to start finding the right dog partner for our training to commence as soon as it would be reasonable for us to train together. This was an indefinite delay and I kept a mostly stoic approach while taking solace from our rescue pup Nama and her playful antics. I greatly missed the freedom, independence and bond my future match would bring and this only grew more difficult with the beautiful weather of spring.

As I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and passed the two-week waiting period for full protection, it would be even easier for me to get outside my highly restricted lifestyle of the past year and a Guide Dog would certainly make that vastly easier. When the CDC released their guidelines suggesting fully vaccinated people could travel more freely, Guide Dogs for the Blind responded directly with a letter inviting those of us waiting for a match to send a copy of our certificate and be moved to the active status.

Randy's former Guide Dog golden retriever, Ostend, as a puppy, playing in the snow as the sun sets.

Randy’s previous Guide Dog Ostend playing in the snow as a puppy.

Tracy and I sent this immediately and I’ve been formally notified they are now seeking the proper match for me. While this process is still somewhat indefinite as they find a dog comfortably matched to my general pacing and lifestyle, the reality is that it is a process that will happen as they work with their dogs and specifically have me on their list for options. Whether it’s measured in weeks or months before I’m notified, it would not have happened until this significant step took place.

There are many more milestones along this journey and I do have my focus on the next call to inform me they have a match in mind and invite me to train. For now, though, I am elated to celebrate the end of a long time without a guide and with no end in sight for that changing… until now!

Be well,
Randy Pierce

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