A Moment of Silence, Please…

I received a sad phone call this last weekend.

Eleven years ago, my son Tad and I started our long journey with Guide Dogs for the Blind by raising “Arbor,” a beautiful, big, male yellow lab. Arbor was the perfect dog for us–because we knew so little about raising puppies! Especially with the goal of becoming a guide.

And Arbor did, indeed, become a guide! He was paired with a wonderful young man, Jon H. I wrote a story in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” about this amazing partnership.

For the last ten years, Jon and Arbor have been an unstoppable team. Jon is an adventurous soul–he has taken Arbor fishing in the Florida Keys, hiking to the Pacific Ocean, and lots in between! Arbor hit the jackpot–Jon’s family adored him. This family has been so kind to us–sending us regular updates and, every Christmas, we receive a card that has Arbor’s name imprinted with the family.

On Saturday, Jon called to say that Arbor was being put down due to a serious, sudden health ailment. He was crying, I was crying. I feel so sad for Jon–to lose your extra pair of eyes must be such a shock.

Arbor never had a bad day. He was loved, cared for, valued, and had an enriched life. He blessed us, he blessed Jon. And I’m so glad Arbor didn’t suffer. He was a working guide to the end.

A moment of silence, please, for Arbor. One of the world’s best dog.

Has there been a special dog in your life? I’d love to hear your stories.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Christy says:


    What sad news. My husband and I have 2 dogs, and our family would not be complete without them. I am so sorry for Jon's loss, as well as the sadness that I know you and your family must be feeling.

    I'll send up an extra prayer for comfort for all of you.

  2. Debbie Clark says:

    I also am sorry for Jon's loss. We have a black lab, Annie, who is almost 10 and I know that she is getting older. I especially love labs because they have a special love of life.

  3. Renee (SteelerGirl83) says:

    Awww that is terrible, I'm so sorry to hear this! I cried for months after my first collie died. You love 'em like family, you know?

    My dog and I are featured on author of Love Finds You in Hershey, PA, Cerella Sechrist's blog today if you'd like to check it out. 🙂

    XOXO~ Renee

    XOXO~ Renee

  4. Ammie ODonnell says:

    I have a very funny story about our dog Jack, well, maybe two!!! When my son was 5, we decided to get a dog. I went out to the pound and told them I wanted a male. They had two lab mixes, one male, one female. Jimmy and I fell in love with the black lab. I told the attendent this was the one we wanted, and asked again to be sure he was the male. "Yup, he's your male". Ok, pack him up, bring him home. Being raised in town without pets, I had no reason to believe this man didn't know what he was talking about! We took Jack outside a few days later and out neighbor came to see our new baby. She asked his name and we told her Jack. She stood there, shellshocked for a minute and asked again. After we told her again, she said, "you do know that is a female!" I told her that I thought it would have been too rude to look, so I didn't. She laughed VERY hard! Anyway, "Jack" is now affectionately called "Jackie O" (our last name is O'Donnell) hahaha!

    The real story…I had just prepared our first turkey dinner in our new home. I took the turkey from the oven and the kids decided they wanted Daddy and I to play a game with them before we ate. We sat down to a game of cards in the kitchen. All of a sudden, we heard a crash behind the counter. Imagine our surprise, when we walked around the corner and there sat Jack with our Thanksgiving turkey in her mouth!! I do not believe she felt any remorse! Needless to say, the green bean casserole was the best (and just about only) part of our meal!