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.

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