By Sue Mooney
Late August in Durango, Colo., means kids and teachers returning to school, and Guide Dog pups returning to GDB's Oregon campus to start their own version of school. It also saw the start of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, with professional cyclists from all over the world beginning a race here in Durango. Ryder, our current Guide Dog puppy, shares the name of an acclaimed Canadian cyclist, Ryder Hesjedal. He wasn't racing here, but many of his Garmin Sharp Barracuda team were. We went to many events celebrating the race, and I was struck by how much a Guide Dog puppy is like a professional cyclist. They are both part of a team when training and working. They must be focused, brave, and open to new experiences. They all must stay in shape, and each day is significant. Ryder and the cyclists were quite taken with each other, and we got some great pictures. The cyclists left on their race adventure at the beginning of the week; Ryder and his team left for Oregon on the puppy truck the following weekend, taking many of the same mountain roads as the cyclists. Godspeed, athletes and pups. What an inspiration you have been to us!