We had a HUGE night in Raleigh on Friday. There were close to three hundered people gathered at the beautiful North Ridge Country Club for a fundraiser for MIRA. Believe it or not, the guests wore blindfolds while dining! I have never tried this, myself, but I can tell you the guests sure looked funny chasing those cherry tomatoes around their salad plates! At least they were laughing about it. I was laughing, too, but of course right then no one was paying much attention to me.
My friends, Cricket, and her dog, Nipi, were the special guests of the evening. Not exactly sure what that meant, but Nipi and I got to get up in front of everyone and pose for pictures. That was a lot of fun. I really liked it when Ms.Kathy Virtue, one of our MIRA Board members (and my special friend) asked me to stay at her feet while she channeled my thoughts. I thought we worked pretty well together, if you want to know the truth. She did a really good job capturing my thoughts. I have a lot to say, in case you were wondering…
So, Dining in the Dark was a good time all around. So many people said that it was a very moving and inspiring evening. All I know is that I was exhausted by the time we got in the van to ride home. I just sacked out at Bob’s feet and slept the entire way. It was a lovely evening.
Catch you later,
I know, I know. Most of the time the phrase “going to the dogs” has a negative connotation,but I am here to tell you that we went to the airport late on Saturday night (Verrryyy late - almost midnight- it was practically Sunday, for crying out loud)) to welcome four of our six students home with their dogs and it was more exciting than even I could have predicted. I got a pretty good laugh out of the time we spent waiting for the plane to arrive. While I was studying people walking by on the concourse, all of a sudden I would know when they had spotted me at Bob’s feet because they would crane their necks around like crazed chickens trying to watch me and walk forward at the same time. One little girl sat right down on the floor when she caught sight of me! I laughed and even winked at a couple of them… People sure are funny. You’d think they had never seen a dog before…..
And then, all of a sudden it seemed, they had arrived. First Meredith, then Darcie, then Michael and then AJ, all accompanied by their beautiful MIRA guide dogs. I could tell you more, but you know, when you are already going to the dogs, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Here we are at one of my favorite luncheon venues, the Pinehurst Members’ Club. That’s Bob and Camille Nagel, the President of the Women of Sacred Heart, with yours truly posing in front of that magnificent Christmas tree. That shiny thing on me is the reflection from the flash on my harness. Aren’t we festive looking? We had a wonderful holiday luncheon with the ladies. Everyone was so nice to me, though no one thought to shoot any food my way. Oh, it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. The smell of that chicken was almost more than I could bear. In fact, I even stood up at one point and tried to get a little better whiff of chicken, but Bob wasn’t too happy about that move, and he told me in French to sit down. When he speaks to me in French I know he means it, believe me. So, of course, I tried to look appropriately Ambassadorial instead of embarassed, and I did what any self respecting dog would do and promptly sat down.
The ladies gave us some lovely donations and said very nice things about me. They said some nice things about Bob, too, but I was still a little miffed at him for not letting me enjoy the essence of poulet (that’s chicken in French) so I only listened to the words that applied to me. I know that wasn’t very nice, but I can’t help myself when I am around poulet.
Devon (Perpetually Hungry) Baillie
Yikes! This Ambassadorial designation is a lot of work. Last week, as you know, yours truly accompanied Bob and Elaine to Los Angeles to cheer on our MIRA student, Ryan Uhle, while he competed in the National Braille Challenge. Ryan was a star. Just getting to the finals was great. 900 students applied and only 60 were selected from around the country. Way to go, Ryan.
And what about his dog, Sandy? He was there, and as you can see from the pic, he was the only dog there aside from me. His presence created a lot of buzz, believe me. I was so proud of him. Even in the midst of all those kids he stayed calm, cool, and collected (isn’t that an ad for deodorant? I remember the strangest things when it comes to words…)
Anyway, we all had a great time. We had dinner with the Uhles one night and attended a birthday party with some Hollywood celebrities. I would tell you who they were, but I promised to zip my lips. It’s a privacy thing, and I don’t need to be getting into any trouble. Let’s just say one of the guests played a love doctor on a boat. Or something like that, I’m not sure exactly how that goes.
And as for the First Class seats. Well, let me just say that those Delta people have it all figured out. I wasn’t eating my own food (it’s a travel thing) so Bob and I shared eggs and sausage on the way home. No mimosas, though….
So, it’s a brief rest and then off to Montreal and MIRA Canada next week. This is one of my favorite trips each year as we get the chance to observe the kids with their new dogs. I can’t wait!
I’ll try to take some pictures and post them for you. Stay tuned.
Devon ( Frequent Flyer) Baillie
We went dancing tonight! Bob, Elaine, Beth and I were guests of the Union Pines High School Seniors at their prom. I’m not exactly sure what “prom”means, but I can tell you there was a LOT of loud music and good food. Bob kept feeding me little bits of cheese – one of my favorite foods- I guess because he felt bad that the kids kept tripping over me. They couldn’t help it, though, because it was really dark in there, and I think I just blended into the rug.
Anyway, those girls were beautiful. I tried to lick their ankles as they walked by, however, Bob wasn’t too keen about that move. He knows that’s my way of showing affection, but I guess he thought it wasn’t the time or the place. Some of those dresses were va…va…va…voom (if you know what I mean) I couldn’t resist.
The best part of the evening was when Bob and Elaine accepted a check for MIRA in the amount of $1,000! Can you imagine? Those kids raised all of that money to help us buy more dogs like me. I love them. And then Bob gave a check to Emily Christaldi, one of the graduating Seniors, for all of her work organizing the High School Fun Run. Don’t you just adore all of these awards? It’s so much fun.
I love my life as Bob’s guide dog and the MIRA Ambassador.
I couldn’t leave you with pictures of only two of the four who were at the airport the other night,
and so here are Darcie and Michael upon their confident arrival with their MIRA dogs.
Can you believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the year is almost over? Whew…where does the time go, I wonder? Even in dog time this has been one heck of a busy year-the time has just flown. And speaking of flying, Bob, Elaine and I boarded a plane today for Montreal and Christmas with the family. Whoopee for me….the snow is calling. I can’t tell you how much I love lolling around in a snowbank. Bob thinks I am funny because I “woof” a lot when I am playing in the snow, but that’s just my way of showing how happy I am.
Wednesday we had our office Christmas party. It was great fun. And, oh, the food (not that I really know, of course, but it sure smelled good) Everyone important was there: Bob, Elaine, Beth, Sandy, Lisa, Tonya, Tim, Christina- and Dixie and Little Man, too. (Chester is banned from the office when I am in attendance because he bites my toes- oh, those Jack Russells- when will they ever learn?) Anyway, here is a photo of Bob opening his present from everyone- a beautiful red lap robe embroidered with the MIRA logo- wow, I wish it was big enough for me to nap on, but no such luck. I think you can see that Bob really loves it….he’s always cold, so it’s the perfect gift for him. Now Beth won’t have to sit on the other side of the desk and sweat like she was in a sauna because Bob has turned the heat up . At least I can go get cool by the door when he starts playing with the thermostat. Yikes!
So, I guess you can also see Little Man in his Santa suit. I’m glad it’s him and not me. I am far too dignified for such an outfit, if the truth be known. It’s just not Ambassadorial-
though Bob seems to like him in it. I don’t get it, really.
In any case, here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. I know we are going to have a great 2012 at MIRA. I just feel it in my bones. See you back here in 2012…I’m off to the nearest snowbank.
Devon (the holly, jolly snowman) Baillie
As you know, Bob and I have been in Canada for the past week. We came to see our students receive their MIRA dogs and begin the month long training process. Wow, am I impressed. Of course, being a MIRA dog myself I know that we are special, and yet, every time I meet a new one I am so proud to be a part of the MIRA family. Just look at the pictures.
So, we have had a great time. We went out to dinner a lot (one of my favorite activities, even it only means a bowl of ice for me) We even went with Eric one night and he tested me by putting a piece of beef in front of me. Whoa….beef….what a test. It took all of my concentrated energy to turn my head away. I could have gobbled that beef up faster than you can say “not a smart move”, however, I am a LOT smarter than that.
We also saw all of our relatives and friends, so Bob was happy to go visiting. I just love being a MIRA dog. We travel, we smooze, we are Ambassadorial, and we have a lot of great friends. Could life get any better?
Devon ( le bon chien) Baillie
We went to the Hooties rehearsal this afternoon and I am still laughing just thinking about it! Those guys are so funny. Dave bounces around like he is the Energizer Bunny, Joey must have been born a showman, T.C. twirls that umbrella as though his life depends upon it, and I just roll on the floor laughing…. Where do they think this stuff up, anyhow?
The performance is only three weeks away. You know what that means- Practice, Practice, and more Practice. I had to do a lot of that to become a guide dog, so I know what the guys are going through, and I admire them a lot. They work all week and then come to practice and are told ” Over here, not there, turn a little faster, twirl a little slower, up, down, look left, look right.” It’s enough to make even a dog go a little crazy. But they are hangin’ in. They are a good bunch of guys. I love them.
Bob bought pizza for everyone in the middle of the afternoon (well, everyone, but me) Oh, I tried my best. I did the nose-on-the knee trick, lick- the- hand -that- feeds- me trick, I even panted really loud , but that only got me – you guessed it- a bowl of ice! I just know I would love pizza…..Why isn’t someone paying attention?
So….Devon here, reminding you that you had better RUN, not walk, to get your Hooties tickets. Saturday, June 04 is going to be a night to remember. I’ve got my ticket and I’ll be right there in the front row. Be sure to come by and say hello.
With temperatures hovering in the high nineties in the Sandhills it didn’t take much for me to convince Bob that we needed one last summer fling. So, guess what? We are at the beach again! And this time most of the extended family has joined us, so we are really having a great time. I love the surf. It tickles my paws…
Beth has gone to the mountains where she says it is a good ten degrees cooler, and Sandy is in Montana – wherever that is, I have only been to South Dakota in winter. People don’t like it there because it is so cold, but it was just perfect for me. I even stayed out in a snowbank for a while. Pure bliss.
Anyway, Nicho came from Canada last week and checked on all the dogs in their new homes, and he was very pleased that things were going so well. Soon school will start which will bring a whole new set of challenges. We’ll be ready after our nice break.
Well, gotta go. The beach is calling.
Devon (Surf’s Up) Baillie