Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bonnie's Gifts

By: The Neff Family

We first saw her as she checked out the exercise area at Guide Dogs for the Blind. We sent a looping three tone whistle and a cheerful "Bonnie, come" and she was ours!
Achoo! Achoo! Allergies and ear infections were what kept Bonnie from guide dog service. Instead she would be there to give her new owner John, the much needed encouragement that would eventually be needed. With the best traits of a Golden/Lab Retriever, Bonnie through the years has given more than an accountant could score!
John Neff holds up the book Dog Heroes as Bonnie looks on.

Twice daily walks stopped while John underwent hospitalization, recovery, and therapy for a serious spine infection. During a long course of rehabilitation, a major factor in his recovery was a strong desire to “walk with Bonnie.”  Once home, the leash waited until one day, Bonnie brought it to John and they had their first steps together in months.

Being curled asleep by his shoes, Bonnie encouraged John to bend over and pet his friend. If John were to fall outside, Bonnie, twirling and with little sounds coming from her throat, would race indoors to seek help.

The gentle, wet nose on his arm would say, "I am awake, how about you?" Waiting at each doorway, Bonnie seemed to say, "You go first - I am right behind you." As John exercised each day, she seemed to tell him, “I AM HERE, YOU CAN DO IT.” From her long held innate traits, she knew that they must continue their former activities – and today they do.
The Neff family sits on a bench with Bonnie by their side

Gifts given; love exchanged.  Companions meant to be!

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