by James Bluhm
Nihm, retired male yellow Labrador guide of James Bluhm, Ottawa, On,., Canada, California class 580, March 1998.
Nihm was a great dog.
He loved to work. For nine years, he guided me safely through many obstacles. He did his job in the city and in rural areas. He could be professional at gatherings involving a thousand people or in a one-on-one meeting. He took the 59 bus into downtown Ottawa and back almost every working day of his career. He was smart continually amazing me with his knowledge of routes, locations and commands.
He loved to travel. Nihm went to New York, Florida, New Orleans, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba, Toronto and throughout Ontario, Quebec City and throughout Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. He settled in comfortably wherever his fleece, his food bowl and I were to be found. He loved long rides which were always celebrated with a good nap. Wherever he went, he was so photogenic.
He loved to play. Sticks were the best toys; you can really sink your teeth into them. Walks were always good, especially to the horse farm where they could be combined with the most interesting smells. Wet feet from the rain, lake or ocean made him want to run forever. And, in his opinion, it was impossible to have your ears scratched too much.
He loved to eat -- by far his favorite activity and hobby. You knew it was breakfast and supper time because Nihm made sure you knew. He was sneaky and successfully snatched food from time to time. Of all the many restaurants he went to, he found the Dairy Queen was the best because it was the only place he was taken where the result would be an ice cream cone for him.
He loved living things, both two legged and four legged. His friends included almost every dog in the neighborhood except those that excluded him from establishing a friendship. He got along well with Kazoo who succeeded him in guiding me although he never really understood him. The cats of our house produced a similar reaction. He had people as friends at work, at church, with family and casual relationships. He particularly liked "chicks" who were drawn to him like a magnet. He enjoyed everyone, but Denise was special and would get his tail wagging at any time.
He will be missed. Rest well, my friend.