Valentine’s Day Tribute to my Guide Dogs

Editors Note: I was really slow getting these posted and this was such a lovely tribute – so even though I am really late with the posting; I couldn’t help but share it!

Charli Saltzman

Because Valentine’s Day isn’t far behind us, I thought it might be appropriate to share some loving words with both of my guide dogs. They have both been so fabulous, and I want to take time to thank them now. So, let’s begin with my first guide, Errol.

Dear Errol,

I am sitting here thinking about you right now, and I miss you so much. You’re wagging tail, the affectionate way you laid your head in my lap makes me smile. You always let me know when you wanted something by hitting my leg with your paw to get my attention. You never really wanted to play. You were happy with just being petted. Errol, everyone around you smiled because of you. I had endless comments about how beautiful you were, how sweet you looked. Well, they were right. Errol, you were such a wonderful dog, full of love, happiness, and patience. Even if I got impatient with you, you would just look at me with those big puppy dog eyes and wag your tail. It was if you were saying, Oh, Mommy, just relax. We have plenty of time. Oh, how you loved children. You could hardly contain yourself. All you wanted to do was play. But even while you got distracted, you knew your job and you did it well.

Sometimes I called you the poky puppy because you would walk so slowly, but perhaps you were only trying to savor every moment. You were not the type to rush things. I knew I could trust you to walk me safely through snowy and icy streets in the dead of winter, and I could count on you to stand by my side. I am so thankful to have gotten to know you, and even though you are no longer in my life, I want to thank you for all of your hard work. I hope you had a safe trip over the rainbow bridge.


Dear Joba,

Wow, there is so much I could say about you. You are my lovable bundle of joy, my friend who just never runs out of energy. You enjoy playing with your many toys, and thank goodness you realized that my phone charger and my bed spread were no longer toys. You can just stick to those bones and ropes, okay? Above all, you enjoy your work. I can tell you love to work because of your brisk, speedy walk. You like to keep moving, and you tend to protest if we have to stop and wait. You let me know by whining. You are so vocal and dramatic sometimes. You and I are a perfect working team, Joba. Even though it seems like you are not always paying attention, I know you are because you pick up on the smallest obstacles. You are a smart and fun dog, full of personality. You are very silly at times but serious when it comes to guiding. Joba, thank you so much for everything you do for me. Thank you for being such a hard worker. I hope we have many many more years together.


To both of you, I can’t complain. We have had so many wonderful adventures together. We got lost, we had successful travel routes, we moved to a new location, and started new life chapters together. You were both protective of me. The funny thing is that you are both almost completely opposite of each other. Errol, you were always slow moving while Joba can’t stand to walk slowly and will whine if he has to slow down or stop. Joba, you are very playful while Errol was calmer. But both of you were perfect in your own way. Your main purpose was to lead me safely from destination to destination. Well, you did your job. What would I do without you? Thank you for being you. I love you.


Your mama

This year, give your dogs plenty of hugs and kisses. Make sure they know they are loved. If you love them unconditionally, they will love you even more. You are their world.


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