He gives me courage and independence
When my first Guide Dog Yaz was retiring and I was preparing for my next Guide Dog, Leon, my daughter wrote Yaz a lovely letter:
“Dear Yaz, affectionately known as Yazzy Bear, my fourth brother, my brother with four paws, I think it is important to mark this day! And I want to thank you.
Thank you for all the times you took Mom out and brought her home safely.
Thank you for all the times you followed her instructions and for all the times you did not follow instructions from the rest of us and gave us a good laugh.
Thank you for teaching so many that our mom is just like anyone else, just with broken eyes.
Thank you for inspiring kindness in strangers and opening doors for her.
Thank you for all the cuddles and licks, all the wags and wiggles and woofs and many welcomes.
Thank you for finding the way almost every time.
Thank you for being Mom’s eyes and for giving her vision and companionship.
We will never forget what you have done for our family. Yaz you will be a hard act to follow but I’m sure you will give the new boy a few tips.”
Marian says: “Sadly, Yaz had only three months in his retirement when he passed away on April 30th 2018. This was such a difficult time for me but having Leon and the love that he gave to me helped me to come to terms with the sudden passing of Yaz.
Leon is a beautiful Labrador. It is only now, two years down the road, that we know each other and are working very well together.
I would like to thank all the people involved with Leon before I met him. His Puppy Raiser and trainer and to the public that give so generously to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind on a regular basis. Having Leon means I have someone to take me out for a walk and bring me to all the community meetings that I am part of. Leon gives me courage and independence that I would not enjoy only for him.