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Three Cheers for Leader Dog Willow

June 7, 2019


Three Cheers for Leader Dog Willow!


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Three years ago this morning of June 7, Leader Dog Willow came into my life as a truly wonderful gift that keeps on giving.  Three cheers for Willow–my fourth Leader Dog!  Throughout the twenty-nine years and three months that I have worked with, lived with, and loved my four Leader Dogs, I have been filled with gratitude for the ways that each has enormously enriched my life.


If you are a regular reader of WORDWALK, you know how Willow, my Black Labrador, guided me expertly through two-and-a-half years of construction, learned to deal with each challenge posed by the trolley project, and copes with Wisconsin weather.  After all of these years of working with Leader Dogs Keller, Heather, and Zoe, I am still amazed by Willow’s working abilities, calm demeanor, caring, patience, cheerfulness, and unconditional love.  What a gem she is!


When Willow is happy, she thumps her tail quite expressively–so much so that I often think that if Walt Disney were still living, surely he would create a book and movie starring–Leader Dog Willow!


Also, when Willow is especially happy, she does not just exuberantly wag her tail, she wiggles the entire back half of her body.  Her happiness is contagious.  How my Labrador does brighten each day for me and for other people whom we encounter!  Besides being a Leader Dog, Willow also seems to be a cheerleader.


Once again and always, I give my best thanks to guide-dog/mobility instructors Christie Bane and Sue Hackman, also Willow’s puppy-raisers, Leader Dogs for the Blind (Rochester, Michigan), and all who donate to Leader Dog School.


Happy Third Anniversary, Willow!  I do hope and pray that we will enjoy many, many more miles of walking together.


WORDWALK NOTE:  In the very near future, I hope to return to posting a piece each Wednesday evening on WORDWALK.  Thank you for continuing to read my blog.


Happy June to all!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


June 7, 2019, Friday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Susan McKendry permalink

    Happy belated 3rd anniversary, Alice & Willow! I also hope you have many more anniversaries to celebrate in the future. Willow is a joy, but you are too, Alice, with your incredibly cheerful outlook even during challenging times. I am truly oh so lucky to have you for a friend.

    • Hi, Sue–Many thanks for your lovely comment!  Willow thanks you also.

      With great appreciation for your friendship,

      Alice and Willow

  2. Congratulations on your 3rd Anniversary, Alice and Willow! How special for me to be here to celebrate this time with you! Best wishes for many more happy years of teamwork!

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