Today, Phoenix celebrates six wonderful years of retirement.
On Friday, May 13th, 2005, a trainer from Dog Guides came to assess Phoenix. He had begun to slow down and showed very little desire to work. It only took five minutes of walking with us for the trainer to tell me I was right and it was time. She told me that he didn’t seem ill or anything, but that she felt he would completely stop working by the fall. I knew this is what Phoenix wanted, so asked when the next class would take place. Phoenix started staying home more often than coming with us from that day and I left just over a week later to get Cessna.
I’m glad Phoenix was able to tell me he wanted to retire.
I’m glad we’ve had a chance to enjoy one another without the demands of a working relationship.
I’m glad he’s been able to get to know Cessna and teach her some of his unofficial skills.
But, most of all, I’m glad he’s given me six fabulous years as a stellar friend.
I’m not sure we’ll be able to celebrate another full year of retirement, but I hope Phoenix knows how much I appreciate the work he did for me and the unconditional love he continues to share.
“The gift of true friendship is that it takes us by the hand and reminds us we are not alone in the journey.”