|Sue and Apex from our trip to Florida – January 2011
Today marks two years since Apex met his handler at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, Oregon. Sue sent out the following email about her life so far with Apex.
Today marks a wonderful milestone in my lifethat I wanted to share with you all. 2 years ago last week I received acall giving me the flight information to go to a cold and wet Portland toget my guide dog. As I finished the final preparations and packing, I wasnervous and worried how this would all play out. Amanda, mydaughter, was only months from graduating high school and I needed to finda new way to get around. How would he fit into my office life? Would Istill be working? What and where life would take me in these last 2 years hasbeen remarkable and totally unthought of at that time. I took a plane flightacross the US changing planes several times – it would be the last time I wouldbe so scared to travel alone. It was 2 years ago today that I metApex for the very 1st time. His birth date is the same as my kitten’s, andhe was the tall, dark and handsome man I prayed for since I was in high school(so… he came on 4 legs instead of 2 – I had to compromise somewhere – haha).He and I hit it off within minutes and we have been unstoppable ever since. He does not mind shopping as long as lunch is included and he loves to traveland see many new faces and places. As I type this, he lays next to me sleeping(and snoring) in the warm Florida afternoon sun.
I have traveled all over (Eastern Caribbean/Bahamas/Virgin Islands/ Massachusetts/Connecticut/Vermont/Florida/Texas/Georgia just to name afew) with my tall, dark and handsome guiding my footsteps, we watched asAmanda graduated high school and we partied the night away (I had earned it !),we worked several full military honor funerals with out a flinch from my guideduring the honor gun salutes, we tackled and attended a movie premier (Lettersto God– it was filmed at my office just before I got Apex), we survived 2long endless months with dad in CCU/ICU/PCU and then his death and funeral, wegot caught in the October snow/ice storm in the northeast, and we stillcontinue to work, travel and shop on our own. We have found anew church home and attend every chance we can. I still remainindependent although my brother refuses to let me mow the yard, fix theplumbing, or hang pictures (things blind folks don’t do so well at anyway).
We (Apex and I) are currentlyplanning more trips: to the Caribbean in early 2013, another to go skiingin Utah in the fall of 2012, and then I am starting the process ofplanning my dream trip to Alaska to see the Arura Borelis and Hawaiito see the volcano and black beaches (both states are on my bucketlist and I can not believe they will actually become reality in the summer/fallof 2013) as well as a trip, or two, to see family and friends all acrossthis land. Laying down my drivers license was very hard as I thought itwould be the end of my working and traveling days but instead God traded me -my driving a car for my wonderful guide dog.
Apex has truly lived up to the meaning of hisname and been the pinnacle of my life even thru the health scares we haveboth endured. Two and a half years ago it took me nearly an hour to go 1block with my white cane finding every crack in the sidewalk and more oftenthan not, I sat at home totally frustrated and exhausted by trying to travel orwalk. Yesterday, Apex and I did 2 miles in 30 minutes without thinking aboutit – what a joy to be able to walk like a sighted person again. Heloves children and so I am getting back into working with them more andmore. He also loves to entertain the crowd while I (attempt to) sing, soI am once again beginning to sing on stage ( I always hated being taken and ledlike a small child so I stopped singing when I started loosing myvision.). I also have begun pursuing things that interest Sue as I beginto enjoy the “empty nest” now that Amanda has moved out. It isamazing how much less house cleaning there is to do when there are no childrenaround…humm (I had forgotten that part of being single…)
Thank you all for your prayers and emotionalsupport over these last 2 wonderful and event filled years and continue to prayfor us as I have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Who knows- you maysee me at your door or even hear me as I go by. God truly does give usriches beyond measure and often more than we can think of.
Celebrate today – it is all we know we have -tomorrow is simply hoped for and yesterday was.
on our Happy “Puppy Day”
Sue and Guide Apex