Leader Dog Jemma Enjoys Her Himalayan Dog Chew

My beautiful golden retriever guide dog Leader Dog Jemma turned 3 yesterday. I can hardly believe it! I got her some Himalayan Dog Chews for her birthday (well, she would get them anyway, but that's a good excuse!).

Watch the video of her enjoying ne while we listen to one of our favorite songs, "Good to Be Alive, hallelujah" by Andy Grammer.

My dog is a big part of my writing life. She makes me laugh and smile every day, and I adore her.

Please share this all over the social web!

Cheers to your #BlissfulLife!

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

Award winning author, photographer and artist

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Head shot of Ronda Del Boccioselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She has been mostly blind since birth, but she never lets that stop her doing what she wants to do. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Is a Guide Dog Always in Harness? Leader Dog Questions

I'm writing a book about the adventures of my Leader Dog Jemma and myself. Since I get s from people I figured it would be a great idea to include those  questions and answers in the book.

Here's one of my very favorite pics of Jemma. She's clearly having fun unmaking the bed. She does this by running laps in the house and using the bed as her turn-around point.

Picture of Jemma unmaking the bed, looking wild-eyed and clearly having agreat time!

"Does a guide dog always wear the harness?"

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What Do You Want to Know about Guide Dogs?

When Leader Dog Jemma and I are out and about, I get a lot of questions about the life of a guide dog. I figured you might like to have your questions answered, and I'd like to collect all the Guide Dog FAQs in one place.

Since I'm sharing our adventures in a book I'm writing, I'd also like to be sure I get all the major questions answered there too. So now's your chance.

What do you want to know about the life of a guide dog? Perhaps you're wondering about:

  • Leader Dogs for the Blind school
  • Equipment
  • Home life
  • Working life
  • Food
  • Manners
  • Training
  • Playtime
  • anything and everything else

Ask a question

The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. Trust me; I've heard and answered them all.

Ask your questions at WriteOnPurpose.com/question.

Meet & Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web

Jemma is a busy dog. Not only is she my guide, toy reviewer and treat tester, but she also shares her adventures in her own voice on her own Facebook page and Instagram Feed.

Jemma and I look forward to answering your questions!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S>

Ronda Del Boccio, award winning author and speaker

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Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web!

Look at this adorable face...

Leader Dog Jemma Close-up. Jemma is a golden retriever wearing a royal blue collar

This is Leader Dog Jemma, a spunky Diva Dog who loves to be groomed and KNOWS she's beautiful. She's also a smart and talented guide dog, a toy tester, a taster and more. Here's how you can see her latest photos, videos and updates.

SHe speaks in her own voice on her Facebook page and her Instagram feed. I'm her interpreter.

Meet & Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web

Jemma is a busy dog. Not only is she my guide, toy reviewer and treat tester, but she also shares her adventures in her own voice on her own Facebook page and Instagram Feed.

Please share this all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Abundance and The Power of Belief: Are You Allowed Only One?

Have you ever said, or heard someone else say, that you can have only one great something?

  • 1 great opportunity
  • 1 great pet
  • 1 true love

It seems to be something instilled, and thus installed, into most people. The underlying belief is you only get one allotment of something precious and no more. Lose it and you're done.

I've heard it and I've overcome that belief.

When I had my first of 3 amazing guide dogs, Thunder, she was so amazing that at first I thought I could never have another guide dog to match or top her level of awesome.

I DESERVE Abundance! Image shows a flower against an unfocused background http://writeonpurpose.com/miracle

Then I asked myself, "Why can you have only ONE great dog in your lifetime"

I answered myself, "I don't know. That's silly. I may have half a dozen guide dogs in my lifetime. Why should I believe it's all down hill from here

I further reflected  that I NEVER believed I was allowed only one great:

  • Bouquet
  • Delicious food
  • Friend
  • Fun
  • Vacation
  • Adventure
  • Extraordinary Experience
  • Joyful moment

...so why should I accept that I could only have 1 great guide dog and then my chances were gone for the rest of my life?

Ridiculous!

Yeah - why CAN'T I have more than 1 awesome dog to go along with all my fabulous vacations, experiences, friends, or anything else?

Each wonderful whatever will be great in its own way. Thunder Cloudy Skywalker (her official AKC Name) was a smooth coated (short haired) collie

How useful that I eradicated that false belief and embraced the power of ABUNDANCE in Thunder's lifetime, because a couple months after she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, A little black Belgian shepherd mix puppy with white paint on her wriggled her way into my heart and became a great guide dog named Molly Flagtail.

Molly Flagtail lying on my mom's paisley print couch

Each had her own kind of awesome. Thunder had such astounding memory that could backtrack through the twistiest path to get me back to the start, even when I myself didn't know which way to turn. Molly had amazing emotional intelligence. She had her own mission beyond guiding me that involved healing hearts.

And after Molly finished her time with me, a stunning diva dog named Jemma from Leader Dogs for the Blind came to me. She displays Thunder-style smarts, Molly-style empathy, and her own pure divalicious Jemma star power.

Leader Dog Jemma Close-up. Jemma is a golden retriever wearing a royal blue collar

And yet...I still come up with issues around abundance and deserving. This became clear to me when I had my Miracle Mindshift.

This is a 30 day program you can do over and over again. Whenever I go through my Mindshift month, I experience deeper levels of awareness about my own resistance to life's abundance. If you'd like to join me, I invite you to visit the Miracle Mindshift page for details at WriteOnPurpose.com/miracle..

Miracle Mindshift Month

Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web

Jemma is a busy dog. Not only is she my guide, toy reviewer and treat tester, but she also shares her adventures in her own voice on her own Facebook page and Instagram Feed.

Please share this all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books.

See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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Decision Making with Reason And Emotion: Leader Dog Chronicles

I've been sharing my journey of getting a new guide dog from Leader Dogs for the Blind. Today's post focuses on how I came to the decision that getting a new dog was right for me. This same method also works for you when you have a tough choice.

The most difficult part of having a dog, whether a pet or working partner, is that they die. So much emotion is wrapped up in the agony of loss that deciding whether or not to get another becomes messy. When I couldn't stand being dogless anymore, here's the tool I used to help me choose. I wanted to ensure that going to school for a dog was truly wise.Jemma in harness

I call it T + E. It goes way beyond the usual plus/minus listing to tape into emotional impact. Using this method also provides fuel when you're talking to your nay-sayers or critical companions. You demonstrate both to yourself and others that you are not making an important decision lightly.

T Plus E Decision Method

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Dealing with Nay-Sayers: Leader Dog Chronicles

I'm mostly blind, and I've had guide dogs for a huge chunk of my adult life. My second, Molly, died two years ago, and I now have my third, Jemma. (#LeaderDogJemma on the social web). Since people have been so interested in my journey, I created this Leader Dog Chronicles category on my site and am sharing our story. I'm also working on a book!

Just when I started telling my friends and family about getting a new guide dog, I would have the dreaded encounter with my chief kaboshing officer, who is also someone who loves me dearly. She simply hates change.

Always a Nay-Sayer

Have you noticed that whenever you make a big decision, there's always one person among your family or friends who'll kibosh you? I know exactly who that will be in my family, and whenever I am making a big change, I know not to talk to her at all, because she'll come up with a hundred justifications why what I want is wrong.

The closer you are to living your purpose, the more imminent your encounter with negativity in the form of nay-sayers will be. It's part of the road of trials we all face. I faced it around getting my new "eyes." You'll face it around whatever your big change happens to be. I hope this will help you gain clarity and relax into the journey of dealing with your version of this issue.

When I decided it was time to get a guide dog from a school, I immediately set my mind, heart and actions on making it happen as soon as possible. I told the folks at Leader Dogs  that I'd jump on a plane tomorrow if they had a dog for me. Getting a dog was right for me.

Here's a photo of my beautiful new #LeaderDogJemma.

Leader Dog Jemma Close-up. Jemma is a golden retriever wearing a royal blue collar

Oh how I dreaded telling my mom, because I predicted with 100 per cent accuracy what she'd do, even though her actual words stunned me to the core. I told friends and other family members first, and had a lot of support and encouragement from them.

You and the detractor care about each other, otherwise their opinion wouldn't matter to you one bit.

Mom hates change. She doesn't mean to be the thunderclap of dom, but if it's a big change, she will always resist. Note that I seldom use such a strong word as "always," but it fits.

A BAD Idea?

Here's exactly what she said: "That's a BAD idea." Insert derisive nasal voice tone here.

"Why?"

She didn't answer. Sure, I had said I would do without a dog, but that's before I simply couldn't have the level of contentment in my life without one. I simply could not do it and be anywhere near happy.

I love my mom, and I knew she'd come around eventually, especially once the dog was with me, being helpful and adorable.  What made her reaction so difficult for me is that even though we're next door neighbors who see each other a couple times a day, she was oblivious to the depth of my pain and my need for a dog. Though seeing me every day, she could not see my pain and depression, though it was plain to others who see me much less often.

How Do I Handle the Nay-Sayer?

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Just When I Decided It Was Time for a New Guide Dog: Leader Dog Chronicles

My first Leader Dog Chronicle was a tale of tears and longing. This is not. This is a tale of synchronicity, which means fortuitous timing, in case that's a new $100 word for you!

Tired of being dogless back in March of this year, I was just considering maybe I didn't have to train my own this time and could go get a new, fully trained dog, but I wasn't "there" yet.  I woke up early one morning and mulled over it in bed. Perhaps it was time to get a dog. Maybe not.

Molly Flagtail lying on my mom's paisley print couch

Synchronicity

My friend Seana came to visit me. She has a hearing/mobility service dog whom she trained. We were in the grocery store when an older couple talked to us. They asked about her dog. At first they assumed it was a guide dog, which most people do unless they've seen a variety of service dogs.

I shared that I used to have a guide dog named Molly. The man, Terry, said, "We're with the Lions Club. We've been wanting to help place a Leader Dog with a blind person in this area for years."

The switch in my brain flipped into the YES position, accompanied with a long and satisfying display of sparkle, confetti and fireworks. Continue reading "Just When I Decided It Was Time for a New Guide Dog: Leader Dog Chronicles"

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Time for a New Guide Dog: Leader Dog Chronicles

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When my amazing guide dog Molly made her transition across the Rainbow Bridge, I could barely breathe. A bright shining light extinguished. Still, almost 21 months later, I am crying as I write this. That should tell you how much she still means to me.

Early Retirement

Molly Flagtail on an adventure with Mom!

The photo above of Molly in her harness sitting in the airplane seat, looking quite pleased with herself, is my favorite picture of her. Oh, my heart still aches after all this time! I am so very grateful she was part of my life! She touched so many lives!

I had to retire her a couple years before that last awful trip to the vet, because her joints were failing. She hurt herself umping out of an SUV because she wouldn't wait for me to help her. Thattrip was our last. I got along with a white cane.

The interesting thing was that even though she only went with me down to her Grammy's house (my mom), I could still rely on her senses through that tight psychic bond we shared.

Car rides and active guide duty were a thing of the past, but as a home owner, I could keep her and continue to shower her with love.

Grief Beyond All Comprehension

Continue reading "Time for a New Guide Dog: Leader Dog Chronicles"

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Love Letter to My Future Leader Dog

As a "partially sighted" / "low vision" woman living in a world that values what is seen by the eye above all else, I can honestly say that embracing my identity as a blind person and learning the skills of blindness have freed me to experience life on my own terms.

Learning to use a long white cane empowered me to carry my head high without worrying about the ground, because my cane would tell me what my eyes could not.

The second revolution in my life as a blind person was making the decision to travel with a guide dog. This provided even more freedom, because I could miss that crack in  the sidewalk entirely and get to the back of a line with ease.

Both of my guide dogs, Thunder and Molly, not only helped me, but they also had their own sacred missions and touched countless lives. Both were Joy Dogs who, in vastly different ways, opened hearts.

When It was time for that horrible but necessary decision to say farewell to Molly, I thought I might not get another guide dog.

Then the reality of life without a trusted guide set in. While I still get around well with a cane, my life is so empty without a dog. While it's nice not having to walk a dog in the pouring rain or bitter cold, there's also no companion to help me deal with crowds and miss all those obstacles my cane finds that a dog helped me avoid.

So 18 dogless months later, I decided to apply for a guide dog from Leader Dogs for the Blind. It took 26 days to complete the application, which included a vide, 6 references, a doctor visit (which was a big deal because I don't do doctors), a vision evaluation (pointless as I'm no less blind than I was when I had an official letter from a previous eye doc), and a form so detailed I expected it to come with a cheek swab for DNA.

May 13th, I got word that I am accepted for a dog and will go to Michigan sometime, maybe July or August, to get my dog! It will be a whole new adventure for me as well as the dog.

Question

Whereas I chose and trained my first 2 dog from puppyhood onward, this time a trainer will select the perfect dog for me. I don't know what breed or gender.

I am thrilled to surrender to this new adventure, and I love my dog with all my heart, even though I have not met him or her yet. Here is my love letter to my future Leader Dog.

Love Letter to My Future Leader Dog

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