This is a fun little anecdote submitted to us by GDB alumna Tiffany Jolliff:
My first guide dog, Santana, has been retired since November of 2008. I now have a successor guide named Railey (all three are pictured). However, this story concerns Santana.
I had gone to bed and taken Railey with me. I was almost asleep when I heard my cell phone ring. I answered it, and my dad asked me if I had fed Santana earlier that evening. Confused, I replied that I had and thought nothing more of it. The next day, Dad told me the story behind the phone call.
Santana was in the living room trying to communicate with my parents. She kept looking into the kitchen and back at my parents. She was jumping up and down, wagging her tail, and generally getting more and more excited. My dad said she even resorted to howling at the top of her lungs several times.
Finally, Dad decided to follow Santana into the kitchen. She tore into the kitchen and sat purposefully in front of the refrigerator. (On top of the fridge is a giant box of dog treats.) As Dad watched, Santana began doing her obedience routine all by herself. She sat, laid down, sat back up, and laid back down. Then, she sat and stared daggers at the treats until Dad got one for her. I'd say that those food rewards really do work, even with retired guides!
Aww! And we think Santana has earned treat or two in her retirement! Thanks for sharing Tiffany!