How many ways am I linked to this wonderful hound named Ted?
His mom, Nadine Lober, is one of my oldest and most dearest friends in the valley. She's on the board of With Alacrity, our nonprofit for assistance dogs. She is our veterinarian.
Before Ted, Nadine was Mom to Ami, the dawg that showed me the way to service dogs. Actually it was Nadine that showed me the way by sharing her dog when I was housebound. By dropping off Ami, she knew through my love for her pup I'd scooch down the stairs on my butt and get Ami outside when he asked.
Ami lead to Gladys, my first full time certified service animal. Gladys changed my life completely.
In 2006, Nadine and I lost both Gladys & Ami to cancer.
Gladys had picked our pup, Boatswain, four months before she passed. Nadine would later come to meet Ted when she assisted in whelping his litter of Ridgeback-Labs. Katie arrived on Christmas Eve 2006 to complete the crazy trio. Katie would be the mama and boss of our nonprofit. She's not a mother yet, but she is the Boss.
Ted's been coming out to Camp Alacrity often while Mom finally takes some well deserved vacation time. Bo'son welcomed him in as a brother. Katie had her reservations. Poor Ted had to go through fiery hoops to win her approval. At last Katie laid the crown of acceptance upon Ted - he was approved!
Ted's a different dog out here. At home he's totally tied to Nadine's side. He won't go out to play unless she goes too. At first Ted was that way with me while he was here, but the pack won him over.
At the Ranch, or Camp as it is for Ted, people aren't No. 1 All the Time, one is allowed to Go out and Play. As long as the whistle home is respected - GO PLAY! Yes, schooling is important, but free time to use one's imagination is almost a lost art in which we believe heartily.
It was so delightful to watch Nadine realize her pup wasn't in the house while we were visiting. He was out playing until the very last minute. Ted had been happy to see her drive up, but when he realized they weren't leaving just yet, he went back out to play. Of course, when Nadine went out to their vehicle, Ted was ready to go home, because There is No Place like Home.