Monday, February 1, 2010

Raining Guide Dogs!

Submitted by Seth Webster

Seth Webster and Bamboo
At the end of a recent California campus graduation ceremony, the class supervisor mentioned the familiar saying about cats and dogs. She told everyone that students while in class at GDB weren't required to always go out into the rain, but most wouldn't have it any other way! So, it was "raining Guide Dogs," as she put it.

Employees of GDB always speak of us, students and alumni, as being inspirational... I feel the same way about them. They offer their support, knowledge, and insight so willingly. Comfort is afforded when needed, and firmness is applied when it has to be. They pour themselves into the formation of teams that are unique, and amazingly well matched. Personally, I can't imagine having gotten a more perfect dog than my Lady Bamboo.

I started volunteering as a docent on graduation saturdays not long after my own graduation. For me, it is like a recurring trip to the reflecting pool. At times the emotions are intense, but only in the best way.

So, back to this recent graduation… My para-transit ride was much earlier than usual; Bamboo and I arrived on campus just after 8:00 a.m., but our first tour was not to begin until 10:30. Upon entering the dorm to get some coffee and visit the computer room, Elizabeth, the dorm manager, spotted us and asked if we needed any help. After I told her of our situation, she took us into the dining room. We were offered some breakfast, and reintroduced to the dorm staff. It was as if we had never left room #5. The staff interrupted their own mealtime to get us set-up! Also, since it was right where the coffee is, we ended up at the same table and chair we had as students of class #684.

But wait, there's more... After finishing the meal, we were taken to a special "guest suite" called the Silver Room. On came the Saturday morning cartoons, and out of harness and off leash came Bamboo; she was free to have a sniff-fest and romp around chasing one of her favorite "treasures" - a kong tug/fetch toy.

Later, we did our tours, and ended up having family members of graduates on both of them, a pleasure. After the tours, we had a chance to meet Mr. Morgan Watkins, both a graduate and board member of GDB. Again, a pleasure. Having grown up in the south, I am often criticized for saying "Yes ma'am" (meant to express respect), but not "Yes sir." Morgan is not just a southerner, but a Texan; he and his guide, Will, are a Texas-sized team! He spat out "Yes ma'am" quite a few times with no protest - I loved it!

Well, that's about all folks. Except, in my corner of San Francisco, it's still raining Guide Dogs! I have a neighbor who is also a GDB graduate; we are both following our faithful guides to the curbs and around obstacles, even when it's raining (as it has for the last twelve days in a row!!!).

Love to all,

Seth and Bamboo

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