His name is McKenna. I call him McKenna Bear or just Kenna-Bear. He is Ron’s Guide Dog and has been for almost 7-1/2 years. He is a hero because he has been guiding Ron to work throughout those 7-1/2 years, in pouring rain or sunshine, in minus 40 winters and plus 30 summers. When Ron hung around a little too long for his coffee breaks McKenna would put both paws on his lap and quietly remind him that it was time to go back to work.
During those 7-1/2 years McKenna guided Ron on a cruise to Alaska, on a cruise to Mexico, on a cruise through the Panama Canal, on airplanes, trains, buses and metros. He guided him to tune pianos, to the gym, to lawn bowling, to shopping centres, to doctors and dentist appointments and, a little less willingly, to the vet’s office. I could count on one hand how many times McKenna had to take a sick day. He was always raring to go.
Ron retired on September 30th 2011. McKenna will be retiring on March 25th 2012. McKenna has decided that he wants to be a plain ordinary old dog from now on. He will be retiring in Portland Oregon and will be spending his last years with my retired Guide Dog, Gladys, who was once the love of his life. Gladys sent me an e-mail at Christmas time telling me that she has the figure of a 2-year-old and she is anxiously awaiting McKenna’s arrival in Portland. She plans to be there at the airport to meet him.
Thank you, big boy, for being a hero and for always bringing Ron home safely.