Doggy Diaries – Happy 2nd birthday, Jayden Bailey!

My amazing guide dog is two today! I remember the day he was given to me and they told me his birthday, July 15, 2008. I did the math in my head. I went blind April 24,2008. I’m not sure how long dogs are pregnant, but I’m pretty sure Jayden was in the womb, already conceived, just for me, the day I went blind.

How could I have possibly known that day in the hospital as I watched everything turn gray, staring at B to memorize his face, terrified of what was coming, that in less than two years I would have such an amazing companion, friend, cuddle buddy, play pal and set of eyes, all wrapped up in soft yellow fur?

There are so many blessings I have received since losing my sight. Incredible new friends, new experiences, a whole new way of looking at the world.

Because of Jayden, I have this blog. Because of my decision to apply for a guide dog, I have this space on the web filled with all these amazing people.

I won’t try naming all of you, but I wouldn’t have all of you if it weren’t for my blindness, if it weren’t for Jayden.

Because of Jayden I got on a plane all by myself to fly off to guide dog school for three weeks. Something I swore I’d never do when I was newly blind. An experience that has prepared me for so much in the way of independence.

Because of Jayden I started doing my own laundry, started going for walks, started working out in preparation. Because of Jayden I’ve lost those twenty pounds and chose to live healthier.

When B isn’t home he knows I’m well taken care of, because of Jayden. I think back to when B first went back to work after I went blind and how scared I was. I wouldn’t leave the house without a person.

Now, because of Jayden, the world has opened up. I am no longer afraid. I am never alone!

Because of Jayden I can talk to myself whenever I want and play it off as talking to him. 🙂

I can have full conversations with him. He helps me make decisions even though he doesn’t respond. I ask him what he thinks and he might wag his tail or lick my face and suddenly I know the right thing to do.

I love reaching over at night to find him laying on his back next to my bed. I love it when I stroke his belly while he’s fast asleep and he makes his little happy grunt. I love it when he’s excited either because I’m being silly or because the harness has just come on, and he makes this delighted squeal. He does that when I’m not moving fast enough to go out the door too. 😉

I love how excited he gets about the frozen Kong, jumping up and down until I say sit and it’s all business. For awhile he would immediately go into a down, doing the puppy push ups and I thought it was really cute, but I’ve started discouraging that, because I need for him to sit stay or down stay at times and not pop up and down haha.

As I write this, he is laying on the floor with my foot under him and his head resting on my leg. I wish I could describe the position. If he were heavier, it might just break my ankle lol!

I love how he brings me his Kong when he’s done with it. He is learning to “go get it” when he’s done, if he comes to me without it.

I love the sense of security he brings even in situations that bring about uncertainty.

I love how he can be fast asleep, but hear the treat pouch at night and know I’m filling his Kong, and know he is going to get a kibble for waiting patiently.

There is so much I could write about Jayden and how much he has improved my life, but really all you’d need to do is click his name to read all about him.

Happy birthday, my JayBay, my Mellow Yellow, my goober head, my goof ball. I love you more than words can say!

Thank you to his puppy raiser and her family. You did such an incredible job with this dog. He never ever ever goes after anything in the house except his toys. He takes no energy for me in the way of house behavior and obedience. He is all that I wanted and so much more, and that is just about all due to his upbringing.

Thank you to the GDB staff and trainers for making such a perfect match. Thank you for giving him such incredible guide skills. Thank you for watching the breeding stock so closely to make such amazing dogs.

Thank you to my instructors at school. Without your knowledge and patience, I never would have been as successful a handler. I don’t know how you crammed so much information into my brain in just three weeks. =D

Thank you to volunteers and puppy sitters and breeder custodians, and those who have made and continue to make donations for our wonderful guides to be possible.

I am just so in love with my dog. Happy birthday again, my amazing Jayden!!!


Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, birthday, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, GDB, gratitude, Jayden, jayden quirks, misty eyes, puppy raisers, working dog

16 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Happy 2nd birthday, Jayden Bailey!

  1. Happy birthday, and congratulations to you both!

  2. L^2

    Awww… what a sweet tribute. Happy birthday Jayden!!! Hope you two have a great rest of the day, celebrating.

    BTW: Gestation in dogs is 9 weeks, approximately 63 days, so maybe not quite when you went blind, but definitely very soon after and that’s really cool.

  3. L^2, you beat me! Hahahaha!

  4. Happy 2nd birthday to Jayden! That was such a great post, Ro! Makes me want to go give my sweet Cabana some scritchy scratching.

  5. Ro

    Oh bullocks, yeah, he was conceived closer to May 15. I was too brain fried to do the math so I asked Erik lol. Still pretty cool, though. =D

  6. Happy Birthday Jayden!!

  7. Happy Birthday Jayden!!!

  8. Happy birthday Jayden … and best wishes for many more happy birthdays to come. My very first puppy turns 7 today – a very good day to be born I think!

  9. Jen

    Happy birthday Jayden!
    And good boy for all your great work with Ro.
    And sorry if this posted twice 🙂
    Jen and OJ

  10. OH Ro! I had tears in my eyes after reading your first paragraph!

    Happy Birthday Jayden!!

    I hope the person who gets Dublin appreciates him as much as you do Jayden. That. Makes it all worthwhile, as a raiser. Thank you for that post.

  11. Oh, Ro this is such a sweet tribute! Love it and you and Happy, happy Birthday, Jayden.

  12. That was such a nice post. Happy Birthday Jayden! I hope my puppy in training Don goes to a partner like your mom who appreciates and loves her guide dog SO much.

  13. Happy Birthday Jayden! If only you knew how many people out here in this world love you and are sending good thoughts to help you get Ro through each and every day!

    All my best for many more fun-filled, love adorned years!


  14. Totally off the subject, but watched a lot of baseball tonight and wondering: is it okay if I adopt your Rays? White Sox are out of it (lost to the Twins, again, tonight) and I’ve always loved your team anyway. And like i said, I know the radio announcer Dave Wills.
    So do you approve? I’d love to adopt them for the post-season and, of course: THE WORLD SERIES!!

  15. Ro

    Absolutely, the more fans the better. You know Dave Wills??? Really??? Oh my gosh. I love Dave wills! He and Andy are such a huge part of my life; they bring me so much joy. And I can’t figure out how to contact them to tell them just what they mean to me.

    I fell for the Rays after I went blind in 08, even though I’m here in AZ. Was never a baseball fan before. So they are very dear to me and I’d be happy to share them with you. 🙂

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