When I arrived at GDA, they had me at hello! I met the trainers who understood my vision, met the people in my class, I realized that I was in the right place at the right time. Kirby was my perfect match and those first steps I took with him as my guide began the change and healing in my spirit. Feeling understood and accepted in every way by the trainers, staff and administration made it easy to let go and learn. People grow in a place where they are loved, and Kirby and I grew together at GDA because we felt safe and loved. Going to school prepared Kirby and I for the new adventures that we would have. We learned how to work in every environment whether hot or cold. We successfully worked together in neighborhoods, traffic, malls, cars, buses, trains and we even learned how to work in an airport and on an airplane. Kirby already knew how to do everything because of his excellent training, puppy raising and special breeding. He taught me and continues to teach me his special talent of being a Guide Dog. Kirby is trustworthy because of the investment that many have made in his life. I will always be grateful. When I ask him sit or lay down, I feel the leash move as he obeys. I have learned the feeling of him carefully slowing down as he prepares to stop at a curb. The faithful work of my new best friend and teammate gives me confidence to step out and reclaim my life.
Editor’s Note: This blog was written by recent graduate Jill Anderson of class #400. She will be continually keeping us up to date on her new journey with her guide Kirby, appropriately named team “Jirby.” Be sure to check back for more updates on team Jirby as the adventures continue on.