By Louie P. (Pete) Nalda
Romance was my Guide Dog from February 2000 to March 2009. She worked a long time for a guide, and was my companion in somber moments, traveling, and at school. Wherever Romi went she was a hit, and she sure did do some traveling: to accordion festivals, the Kerrville Folk Festival, three trips to the East Coast, and nine trips to New Mexico, where she'd get to play in the snow.
She was a well endowed Yellow Lab, and yet she was always my "Romitxu" (Little Romi)! I used to speak Basque to her thinking she could understand it for some reason, because at GDB I'd learned that Labs may have been brought to the new world by Basque fishermen. Anyway, so I had her understanding me somewhat in Basque.
As a guide, Romi was always excited to work, to see people, and to explore whatever was next for us. She'd run into her harness when it was time to go, and man! That dog would walk! I'd bet our average speed was 3.5 mph. Afternoons she would slow down a little, but she had that zeal up to the year when I retired her. Besides guiding, Romi liked playing in water (as long as she could touch the ground), gnawing on her Nyla bone, and playing and running around with other dogs.
After she retired, she went to live with my dear friends the Hickmans in Cedar Park, Texas, just outside of Austin. I couldn't have been happier that she went to enjoy her retirement with people she knew and loved. This is dedicated to you, Romi.
Ondo Ibili (Go Well), old Girl.