“Did you see that!? She just said, “elevator,” and the dog took her right to the elevator!!” It’s no surprise Gabrielle’s intelligence baffles people at times, because she still amazes me with what she can do everyday. It excites me when other people happen to catch a glimpse of her work, because she deserves to be recognized. She is an amazing dog, and she works so hard. And while I will never know what goes on behind those brown eyes, I can only hope she knows how good she is at what she does.
Sometimes, it feels like a dream, walking with her. And when other people see the amazing things she does, it validates all of the wonderment I have for my girl. And, even if she slips up sometimes, and has her puppy moments, she is still an incredible worker. Because really, she is only a puppy, and the fact that she can guide me with the consistency, confidence, and accuracy she does, is pretty impressive. I can only imagine how flawless she will be in a year from now, two years from now, as she grows and matures. But for now, I am enjoying every day, living in the moment. It is such a pleasure to work with her and watch her grow and learn with me right alongside of her.
Working with Gabrielle, I have these moments of amazement everyday. After two months of working together, the shock and ecstasy I feel traveling with her has become routine, but no less powerful than our first weeks. I wish I had the time and energy write about every day we spend together, and all of the incredible things Gabrielle does. Better yet, I wish I could capture it all on a video camera inside of my head so I could share it with all of you! But, I can’t do either of those things, so I try to highlight these moments whenever I can, whether it be casual updates in the hall after class, a Facebook post, or a blog.
I thought now would be a good opportunity to reflect on our time together so far. Today is Gabrielle’s birthday, and she is two years old! It’s hard to believe that a two year old dog brain could hold so much knowledge, but Gabrielle’s does, and I am reminded of that everyday. She is so eager to please, and quick to learn! I have taught her a few new commands during our first semester at school, and she picked them up right away! In addition to the commands we learned at GDB, she now knows how to find the “fountain” (water fountain), and the “button” (pedestrian walk button). She is also a pro at finding chairs now! Walking around campus is so much easier with Gabrielle guiding me! I am amazed at how quickly we get from point A to point B. I no longer have to worry about bikes and skateboards, because Gabrielle steers me right around them! (Although, they still get a little too close if you ask me.) There were a few instances in which a bike or skateboard got way too close, or we had a traffic check, and Gabrielle curls around the front of me, as if to shield me from whatever is threatening our path.
Not only is Gabrielle an incredible worker, she is also a wonderful companion. She is always there by my side, ready for anything. Whether it’s a trip to Target, or a nice long nap, she’s right there with me, wagging her tail every step of the way. She is so full of energy and unconditional love. She is the goofiest, most hilarious puppy I know, and never fails to make me laugh! And she is extremely intuitive! Whenever I am having a bad day, or feel stressed, I swear, she knows it. She gets extra snuggly, or, if she’s in harness, she lets me know that she’s not taking her eyes off of me. People tell me all of the time, “she looks at you with so much love in her eyes, she’s always watching you!” That comment always melts my heart.
I just hope she knows that the love is mutual. If Gabrielle could speak, the first thing I would ask her is if she knows how much I completely, and utterly adore her. My friends laugh when I ask them if they think she is happy here, because admittedly, I do spoil her just a little bit. But there are no actions or words that could equate to the love I have for her in my heart. There are not enough Kongs and Nylabones in the world to show Gabrielle how much she means to me. And I hope she knows that she is such a good girl! She tries so hard, and resists so many temptations. She is so good at her work, and without her, I would be lost. I am truly grateful for everything she does, and everybody who has shaped her into who she is. I celebrate her everyday, but today is a special celebration. Happy Birthday, my sweet Gabby girl!
Written By Katie Cuppy