July was a very special time for the Southwest Bright Eyes puppy raisers of Durango, Colorado. We don't often get to meet a working guide dog team, so we were thrilled when we were able to welcome Trevor Thomas and his guide dog Tennille to our town when they finished hiking the 500 mile Colorado Trail! Trevor, Tennille, and Dave Baumgartner started their journey from Denver in mid June; all along the way, puppy raisers like Paul and Nancy Lucacovic, acted as trail angels bringing supplies to specified points every four to five days. When the team reached Lake City, it was time for us to help out. We are a small club, but we have lots of dog lover friends, and Dick Dahl, Donnie Moffatt, and Amy Scott rose to the occasion for two of the drops. We had the pleasure of meeting this intrepid trio on beautiful Molas Pass. The guys wolfed down the sandwiches and cokes we supplied, and Tennille was very pleased with a snack of baby carrots and a banana.
The following Thursday, they arrived at the end of the Colorado Trail. Our local TV station and newspapers were there to greet them, as well as Mary Monroe from Trails 2000 (a local trails non profit connecting people to the outdoors), and our puppy club, with puppies in training, career change dogs, and many well-wishers. Nancy and Paul were here from Denver, and we had the honor of driving the tired but happy hikers around to get what they needed to get rid of the trail dust of 42 days, before the Chamber of Commerce reception at Santa Rita Park that evening. Durango pulled out all the stops, with a deli tray, refreshments, and gifts from several local merchants. Trevor was great at answering any and all questions, and Tennile sat quietly by his side – such a good example for our pups! After the reception, 10 people and four dogs traveled over to The Palace Restaurant for another opportunity to get to know each other. I am happy to report that the dogs and people were all very well-behaved!