I’m breaking out of my typical mobile and gadget mold tonight to introduce you all to Schroeder Looney. Schroeder was raised and trained as a guide dog — passing all levels, graduating (a very small percentage do this), and getting paired with his owner. Despite his incredible smarts and eagerness to please, an allergy took him out of service life and landed him at the Looney Bin; his guaranteed home for life.
“Career Change” for Schroeder suited him well. Play dates with the other “failures” and meetups in the park were just the beginning. In his new found free time, he took up Latin, watercolor and discovered a new love for David Foster Wallace short stories.
Another great aspect of transitioning from a professional guide to an every day dog was the food. We said goodbye to the lean, No Trans Fat kibble and said hello to Friday night roast chickens and fatty filet scraps. Shrimp too!
Despite our efforts to make him a “normal” dog, Schroeder has always been in service — always polite, always cross checking and developing his contingency plan — he even helped design Earl’s (beloved basset hound) escape route one wild Halloween night. Although we encourage him to relax more, he’s always looking out for his family.
So here we are. Approximately 7 years after he arrived at our crazy house. He’s nibbling on some steak while I pull apart this whole chicken for him. He’s slurps it all up — smiling — a joyous occasion. He’ll find his way to a cool dark spot in the court yard and let that wonderful food sit in his belly, dreaming puppy-dog things.
So please take a moment to say hello and then, wish a fond farewell to our wonderful German chancellor tonight. Tomorrow his old aching joints and his gentle disposition will be put to rest. Tonight I will repeatedly remind myself: he had a wonderful life, he had a wonderful life, he had a wonderful life.
Sleep tight Mr. Schroeder.