Stephen is not the only dog residing at the 7 Acre Wood. He shares space and time with the Big Man on Campus, Walker.
Walker was once a Guide Dog Pup in Training just like Stephen. He was part of a prison program that Southeastern was involved with at one time, and was raised at a women’s facility in Ft Worth. We were his weekend raisers.
After going off to College at Southeastern he was Career Changed. This means that he went through his guide dog training course, and then a decision was made that he would be more suited to a different career path. In Walker’s case, it involved a knee injury. One bad enough that the school felt his working life would be limited. So, Walker came back to live here with us and became a Therapy Dog. And that turned out to be just the right job for him!
He spent several years going to school and reading with students. He walked the halls of school and greeted each and every student and teacher. He brought smiles to everyone.
He also helped out at Pate Rehab Hospital in Dallas encouraging patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries to do what their therapists asked of them, and he visited a Juvenile Detention Center where he helped bring smiles to rebellious teens.
Now Walker is retired and lives a pretty uneventful life at the 7 Acre Wood. Until a pup shows up to turn his days upside down.
Walker recently had a birthday. #11! Every year since he was a pup, we try to get together with 2 of his brothers who live near by and have a big celebration. One brother couldn’t make it this year, but we had some fun with brother, Honor, and some other canine friends. Stephen thought it was all rather grand!
Birthdays are times to celebrate. Even for dogs. Every year that they are with us is precious time. Time goes by so fast. One minute they’re a rowdy pup and the next they’re grey and slowing down. These last couple of years have taught me so much about appreciating how fleeting time can be. I don’t know how much longer Walker will be with us. You can’t really count on any tomorrows. So, I try to make every day with Walker a good day. I’ve kind of thrown a wrench into that idea by bringing a pup into our lives, but Walker is learning to appreciate little Stephen a bit. Maybe they’ll get to be good buddies. Time will tell.
I wish you all Happy Days – whether it’s Birthdays or not. Make the most of them!!