In 1994 I was living alone & noticed I was losing a bit of confidence going out on my own, I was attending less and less events and only went if there was a ride available, I was also missing phone calls because I didn't see the flash alert, and when I finally burned a kettle dry because I forgot about it & didn't hear the whistling I decided to get on the waiting list for a Hearing Ear Dog.
I applied to Hearing Ear Dogs of Canada, I soon got approved, but since most HEDs were small breeds like Shelties and Miniature Poodles, I requested a larger size due to my limited vision.
The day finally arrived! In October 1996 I was heading to the Center for 2 weeks training. It was a small class of 5 Deaf students, we each had our own "dorm room" and had individual & class training. When it was time to meet our "partner" we were told to stay in our rooms and the dogs will be brought in to us. We never got pictures or information except a packet with the dog's name & breed. Well I sat there waiting anxiously and soon saw the door open and in bounded this huge 60lb. Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix! Jetta was 3 yrs old at the time, he'd been rescued from a Shelter, trained as a HED, placed with another woman, but on followup checks the School found out she wasn't keeping up with training & Jetta was nothing more than a pet. They seized him back, retrained him and placed him with me.
He had high energy, loved doing his job & the smarts to match! When there was a sound to alert me to, he'd pounce on me like a cross-checking hockey player and bolt towards the source of the sound. I'd need a second to gather myself and look to see his head peek around the corner quizzically "Well? Aren't you coming?".
In late November, I flew down to Wichita to visit my then boyfriend (who now is Hubby of 15 years) for my first American Thanksgiving. My connecting flight was delayed for several hours and I had nowhere to go to relieve Jetta. When we finally arrived in Wichita, I met Randy at the gate and Jetta insist we go outside NOW, by firmly pulling on the leash, he'd behave when we had to stop for my baggage, that was the first time I've seen a dog do the "pee pee dance". The next morning was when I learned that Jetta's a "Counter Cruiser" as a 12" Pumpkin Pie was missing & Jetta had a stomachache. "I hope you're happy", Randy glared at him as we took him outside.
Randy moved up to Canada to be with me in 1997 and we married the following year. Jetta was a part of the Bridal Party and even had his own tailored Vest to match the Groomsmen. Our Ringbearer held his leash as they walked down the aisle. We were worried that Jetta would be too excited and drag the 4yr old down instead, but he was well behaved.
He soon became protective as each baby arrived in the household. Letting them crawl all over him and tug at his fur. He'd just lay there and groan like an old man. "If you don't like it, MOVE", we'd scold him. He was very protective of them. Once at a Doctor's office, the nurse was coming to get our baby son and was going to pick him up out of the car seat. In a flash Jetta was there between the car seat and the nurse, he didn't make a sound but made it known that he's watching.
To Be Continued.....
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon