Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Colusa: A Guide Dog That Gets Around!

Submitted by Evelyn Burris

Colusa is Evelyn Burris's Guide Dog, and the two of them are quite the world travelers! Whether it's cruising to Alaska or Hawaii, or road-tripping through California, the duo find adventures at every turn. The following is an excerpt from a recap of one such recent adventure, as "written" by Colusa.

Evelyn and Colusa
I have so much to tell! Evelyn and I went to Ft. Lauderdale; our adventure was a trip through the Panama Canal terminating in San Francisco. Now I understand better how big a canal can be! I also learned about continents. I already knew about North America, but when we arrived in Colombia I was on a second continent, South America. And since I have "seen" Russian (a la Sarah Palin) from Alaska, I now only have three more continents to go until I have seen them all!

When we were checking in at Ft. Lauderdale, a man named Greg came up to Evelyn and said he had trained two Guide Dog puppies and asked if he could take me for a walk on the ship. Thank goodness Evelyn said yes because that was the most fun I had on the entire trip. He made me follow Guide Dog behavior, but he made sure I had a good time, too. He lives near San Rafael and I hope we get to see him and his wife sometime soon.

The morning we were docked in Costa Rica, we ordered bananas with breakfast. Imagine how surprised we were to learn they were out of bananas - in one of the banana republics!

While on board, Evelyn and I attempted to attend a writing class. Unfortunately, it was held in a smoke-filled bar so we didn't stay. I was hoping to learn some new techniques!

The last day of the trip was not much fun. We hit very high winds and the ship rocked and creaked. Some big plate glass windows blew out and the noise scared me. I barked at both doors, but no one made it stop, so I hopped up on the bed with Evelyn.

I was glad to sail in under the Golden Gate because it is beautiful and I knew we were almost home.


  1. I and my fellow volunteer from the breeding department, Katie Taggart were on the same cruise as Colusa. At separate times we went up to them and introduced ourselves as working at Guide Dogs in San Rafael and I spoke with Greg one evening. It was amazing to see how many have no idea about the protocal of being around a service dog. I also had the priviledge to have been on another cruise to Alaska when I met Morgan, a guide for Joe Green. It is amazing how the cruise ships love having the guides on board. I hope the next cruise I take there is another guide on board. Chris Robinette

  2. What a wonderful Guide Colusa is! It was the highlight of our cruise being able to walk Colusa around the ship and introducing her to all the passengers and telling them about Guide Dogs for the Blind. Colusa made me realize just how much I miss Nettles & Julep. Nettles passed away 2 years ago and Julep is still working in Colorado. Colusa was as we all know a big hit everywhere we went on the ship. OH and the girls from the training Dept. were so jealous that I was the one taking Colusa on here beauty walk everyday!

    Thanks Evelyn & Colusa for all the fun!

    Greg Molloy,
    Novato CA

  3. I was Colusa's puppy raiser. Colusa was my first guide dog and so hard to give back. Evelyn made it much easier. I am now blessed to be able to call Evelyn my friend. She is gracious and I am fortunate that she keeps me up on her adventures with Colusa. It warms my heart to know that Colusa makes a difference for someone as wonderful as Evelyn. I enjoy reading and hearing about Colusa and knowing that she's doing a great job...doing what she was born to do.