Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Ending for Book Hounds Club Member

By Angela Orr
GDB Development Associate

Bobi and Izzy at graduation

Bobi Earp didn’t just join the Portland Book Hounds club in 2011 because she loved books.  She joined to learn about dogs. Bobi had never had a dog of her own but thought joining a group of individuals who were connected to Guide Dogs for the Blind would be the best way to introduce her to them. The group had a great mix of guides and adopted career change dogs for which Bobi could meet and learn from. For a year, Bobi attended monthly book club meetings and for a year she educated herself about what it would be like to have a guide dog of her own. Then she made the big decision to enroll in Guide Dog training. The book club was thrilled with Bobi’s decision and even threw her a puppy shower before she left for school.

In December 2012, Bobi began her training on GDB's Oregon campus. She was paired with Izzy, a 50-pound 2 year-old yellow Lab. After her first week, Bobi wrote to her book club friends and shared how things were going:

“This week we went to Walmart - that was just incredible, with all the people talking about the beautiful dogs. I have never been so on stage. Before, I didn’t know folks even looked at me, but now when they do, and I don’t know it, they say something about my beautiful dog. Saturday I was in tears as we went to Clackamas Town center to ride the escalators. It is so amazing to go through a mall and not get hit by displays or pedestrians. Then we did a trail walk and I lost it, as I have not been able to walk a trail since I went blind. I don’t even have words for the huge gift that the dog and its training is. Izzy lays on my lap for ear cleaning and teeth brushing - amazing! It has all been a whirlwind of emotions, and you have no idea the vastness of the gift of the guide dog. I just want to thank you and all the Book Hounds for all the acceptance and encouragement.”

On December 15th, 2012, Bobi and Izzy walked across the Oregon campus stage for their graduation. In attendance were Bobi’s family, Izzy’s raisers, and of course the Book Hound gang. Bobi still attends book club but now she’s not alone. Izzy s right there with her and they are one heck of a team.

1 comment:

  1. And this is why we all do what we can for Guide Dogs. Delightful reflection! I am so happy for you and wish you well on your new adventures!