A Message from Executive Director Jeanne Torres: Luke Guide Dog Ambassador Retires.

child petting a guide dog

Dear Friends and colleagues:

It is with bittersweet emotion that I share a change in Luke’s guide dog career.  As of Tuesday, 14, 2018, Luke formally retired from guide dog services.  He has been adopted by a fine family of 3, who I am confident will love and care for him as I have.

Luke began his guide dog career on his 2nd birthday, February 22, 2010 and since then, worked every day without calling in sick or requesting for vacation leave! I believe that these dogs provide not just a valuable service but offer benefits – unconditional love, extraordinary performance, comfort and    loyalty that no one could ever out match.  I have always believed that like humans, these fine dogs deserve not just a regular break from work but the finest retirement plan there is to offer for a demanding and stressful job.

I have maintained Luke’s health with strict attention to ensuring the best care possible that will allow him the time to enjoy a retirement he so deserves.  He has aged incredibly well, maintaining his physical fitness and alertness.  If not for his age, he would still be on my left.

I thank Luke for all his hard work in promoting GDH, representing guide dogs and for his   dedication to his work despite his growing annoyance with me.  In the last year, he made it clear that he was putting in for retirement.  He has since made every effort to hand me off to someone else whenever he could.  His sleeping on the job was becoming less and less discreet and his working hours were quickly lessening.  Many times I wondered whether my dog was human inside of a canine body!

In our quest to promote equality for the blind and visually impaired, Luke led our way into so many important people’s lives, charming them and persuading them to support the blind and visually impaired.  He made friends in so many walks of life.  Legislators, city leaders, corporation executives, doctors, nurses, retailers, bus and taxi drivers and the general public.  He always managed to put a little love in every heart he reached out to.

It has been a few days since I last touched him and I miss him desperately but know with certain that he will find happiness where I have sent him to and I will eventually find another partner who will have big shoes to fill and a professional recognition he will have to uphold.  Luke has been a big part of GDH’s growth and his successor will have the honors of picking up where he left off.

Please join me in wishing Luke the happiest retirement.  It is with love that I will miss him.

 

J Torres

 

2 thoughts on “A Message from Executive Director Jeanne Torres: Luke Guide Dog Ambassador Retires.

  • Barbara Camacho on August 21, 2018

    I did not have the opportunity to see Luke for the last time before his retirement. I know that my sister, Jeanne, will miss him very much, and I hope he will live comfortably in his retirement, and be loved by his adoptive family. Luke was so much a part of Jeanne’s family, and I know how sad Jeanne feels to lose her faithful and devoted partner. Adios, Luke, I, too, wish you the happiest retirement because you so much deserve it.

  • Sylvia Smith on August 23, 2018

    My most memorable moment with Luke was at the hotel we stayed at in Guam, while we were there for our sister’s funeral. As we were returning to our room from outside, we passed through a large room, big enough for him to play for a few minutes. He must have read my mind because I let go of his lease and started dancing with him. He jumped and pranced around the room zig zagging and acted like a puppy! He was not “working” and I felt that this was a good break for him. Every morning he would remember this room and he knew exactly what he was going to do. I’ve never seen him so happy! I’ll miss you Luke very much! Thank you for taking good care of my sister! Happy Retirement! ❤❤❤

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