Team Jirby: Viva Las Vegas!
By: Jill Anderson
Recently Kirby and I made a trip to Las Vegas to visit family. Seeing the family was fun and of course they loved meeting Kirby, but the best part was how excited Kirby and I were about experiencing this adventure as a Guide Dog Team! As usual, Kirby started preparing himself when he saw me pack my suitcase. He seems to regulate his water intake instinctively because he knows we will either be in a car, train or airplane. This time we took our trip in a car. With opportunities for water and relief along the way, the ride to Vegas was a piece of cake. I am thankful for how the GDA trainers and his puppy raiser taught Kirby to relieve himself anywhere I asked him to! No stress! Once we arrived in Las Vegas, we spent time with family at the indoor speedway, fine dining and, yes, the casinos. Kirby’s energy was high as he guided with ease on different surfaces, through sophisticated environments, among many excited people, and while hearing lots of loud noises. Everyone was impressed with his intelligence and expertise as a guide dog. When we went to the restroom, Kirby perfectly guided back to our table. When we went to a show, security was glad to welcome such a professional guide dog and enjoyed watching us work independently as a team to find our seat and enjoy the show. This independence is a true gift from the selfless efforts of so many. I will always have an overflow of gratitude to Guide Dogs of America for restoring my confidence and independence by giving me such a perfect partner. My family and I are forever grateful.