It Takes a Village to Raise a Leader Dog: Jemma’s Story

Exciting News! Leader Dogs for the Blind and Sellers Bowman Subaru selected my Jemma’s story to showcase in their #LovePromise campaign! #LeaderDogJemma

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Leader Dogs for the Blind accepts NO Federal money. Grants and donations from Lions Clubs, Purina, Subaru, individuals and more provide the gift of independence to blind and visually impaired individuals such as myself.

Leader Dogs asked me to share a story about me and Jemma for Sellers Bowman Subaru to share on their site.

My life is so much better because Leader Dog Jemma shares it with me. We are a perfect match!

  • Ronda Del Boccio

Here's a screenshot of the powerful story of love I shared: Simply click the image to go to the Sellers Bowman Subaru Love Promise page to read the full story.

Image of "It Takes a Village to Raise a Leader Dog" by Ronda Del Boccio on Sellers Bowman Subaru Love Promise Campaign Page

Each dog costs well over $30,000, in training and everything else, but we clients don't pay anything. IT's all because of the generosity of donors like Sellers Bowman Subaru that we are a team, and I am so very grateful.

Help Leader Dogs Give the Gift of Independence!

If Jemma's story has inspired you to contribute to a blind person's independence, please kindly make your tax deductible contribution on my special fundraising page at WriteOnPurpose.com/ldb.

Meet & Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web

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

 

Watch for her hashtag #LeaderDogJemma

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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Dogs Need to Play! My Golden Retriever with Kong Goodie Bone

Dogs definitely need fun activities. Here’s how I discovered a way to make Dentastix last longer and provide more fun for my Leader Dog Jemma. Enjoy the cute picture, too. #BLISSfulLife #LeaderDogJemma

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Dogs definitely need to play. I give my Leader Dog plenty of activities. It's so rewarding to watch her have a good time! If you have pets, you know how good for your health and sanity they are. Jemma is certainly not a pet, but out of her guide harness, she's just a dog who needs lots of cuddles, fun and exercise.

I bought her a Kong Goodie Bone back when we were at Leader Dogs. Basic Kong toys are among very few approved playthings. (Kongs and Nylabones. Period).

Lade Dog Jemma chews a Dentastix out of a Kong Goodie Bone

The Goodie Bone by Kong is shaped like a bone but with a short shaft at each end. You put something inside, and the dog has a long lasting treat, because it takes time to work it out of the bone.

I  made a cool discovery this week. My girl loves Dentasix. I give her one emery day. The problem I had until recently was that she eats it in under a minute. Now, I stuff the treat into the Goodie Bone, break it off and put the other half in the other end.

Voila! Now she has something to do for ten minutes instead of one.

Enjoy your own BLISSful life with your furry companion. Use and watch for the #BLISSfulLife hashtag.

Meet & Follow Leader Dog Jemma on the Social Web

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

 

Watch for her hashtag #LeaderDogJemma

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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#BLISSfulLife #LeaderDogJemma

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Leader Dog Jemma Moolights As a Treat and Toy Tester

Leader Dog Jemma is a capable guide dog, and she loves to test toys, treats and dog chews on the side! Here’s one of her reviews. #WyldLifepets #LeaderDogJemma #ProductReview

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Not only is my fabulous Leader Dog Jemma a gorgeous and gifted guide dog, she is also and adorable product tester!

Jemma enjoys a Wyld Life Pets chew.

I am an Amazon top reviewer, & I get offers to try out products for free or steep discounts because of the quality out of my reviews.

I've been posting pictures and reviews of various dog treats and toys my wonderful girl has tried, and that's I am now being offered items for dogs. Hooray!

So she gets to try new things and show her adorable face as she please with or champs on them. I get to add to my review repertoire.

She loves these Wyld Life Pets American made bully sticks and tendons I received a free package in exchange for an honest review.

Here's my 5 star Amazon review Continue reading "Leader Dog Jemma Moolights As a Treat and Toy Tester"

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Leader Dog Jemma Takes a Bow And They All Say Awwww

I taught Leader Dog Jemma to take a bow so she can wow the audience when I speak. Here’s her first public appearance along with a photo of the famous bow. #LeaderDogJemma #LionsClub #LeaderDog

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Since I'm an author and speaker, I make public appearances with my gorgeous and talented Leader Dog Jemma. She's a scene stealer for sure, and I wanted to have her do something special to wow the crowd.

Leader DOg Jemma shakes hands

So I taught her to give her paw (shake hands) and to bow. Here she is showing off for the camera at our local Lions Club fundraiser. Continue reading "Leader Dog Jemma Takes a Bow And They All Say Awwww"

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Leader Dog Jemma and Ronda Del Boccio Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

This is a holiday greeting from me and Jemma #LeaderDogJemma, including a funny video with us rocking around the Christmas tree.

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This is purely for fun. Here's a JibJab video featuring me and Leader Dog Jemma.

Watch the Video

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

Whichever December holidays you celebrate, may you cherish them.

Warmly,

Ronda and Jemma

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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Author Ronda Del Boccio and Leader Dog Jemma Featured in Christmas Parade

Leader Dog Jemma and I, author Ronda Del Boccio, had a chance to be part of the Lions Club Gift of Sight float in our local Christmas parade. Have a look! #LeaderDogJemma #LionsClub

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Leader Dog Jemma and author Ronda Del Boccio on the Lions Club float. Behind them, a Snowman wears glasses. Beside them is the mascot Lion.Leader Dog Jemma and I rode the Lions Club float at the Kimberling City Christmas Parade. The parade theme was "All I Want for Christmas Is..." Our Lions CLub's answer was "The Gift of Sight."

Here we are on the float with our mascot Lion alongside us.

Our float showcased some of Lions' vision-related programs, including eyeglasses and Leader Dogs for the Blind.

It was fun being on the float. Jemma, of course, was the star! Her golden coat gleamed and her smile beamed. We had perfect weather. I heard cameras snapping all along the parade route.

Here is a Facebook post about our adventure:

Continue reading "Author Ronda Del Boccio and Leader Dog Jemma Featured in Christmas Parade"

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Is Your Dog a Canine Good Citizen?

Is your dog a Canine Good Citizen? This is what it was like for me to prepare my brand new guide dog, whom I barely knew yet, for this test of manners. A CGC is trustworthy in public around dogs, people, and distractions.

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How do you know if your pet or service dog is safe to appear in public? You take your pooch through the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen or CGC test. Ten tests of temperament, manners and obedience determine whether your companion is worthy to add the prestigious CGC after its name. I'm writing about it here because it's part of the book I'm writing about how my guide dog and I came to be a team.

CGC is certainly not requreed, but I think any service dog should be able to pass it one she's been with her new handler for a while  My first 2 guide dogs, Thunder Skywalker and Molly Flagtail, were both CGCs.

I wanted my new dog to wear the tag and earn the proud title. When I got Jemma Flagtail at Leader Dogs, I felt incredibly excited that head trainer Jessica Bimmerman was a certified CGC tester.

cgc logo

Could My Guide Dog Pass the Canine Good Citizen Examination?

Since Jessica could administer the examination, I was determined to get my new dog ready to pass. Setting her up for success meant diligence on my part. Would we do it, or would my new guide dog flunk? After all, we were essentially strangers back then. Continue reading "Is Your Dog a Canine Good Citizen?"

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Is a Guide Dog Always in Harness? Leader Dog Questions

One of the most common guide dog questions I get is, Does your dog always wear the harness? I’ll answer this question here. | #GuideDog #LeaderDogs #LeaderDogJemma

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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?"

Continue reading "Is a Guide Dog Always in Harness? Leader Dog Questions"

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What Do You Want to Know about Guide Dogs?

In honor of the book about my guide dog Jemma (#LeaderDogJemma) and me, I thought you might lie to have your burning questions about guide dogs answered. Here’s your chance!

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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!

Love dogs? Want to keep up on what Leader Dog Jemma is doing with pictures, videos and more? Here’s how to find the beautiful Diva #GuideDog #LeaderDogJemma

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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

Join Ronda's Readers

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

Have you ever said that you can have only one great love or opportunity or anything else? Read this and shift your belief about #abundance.

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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

This Leader Dog Chronicle shares a decision making process I used to help me make certain getting a new dog was the right one for me. It is a tool you can use as well, and I show you how.

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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

Continue reading "Decision Making with Reason And Emotion: Leader Dog Chronicles"

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Dealing with Nay-Sayers: Leader Dog Chronicles

This is another in the Leader Dog Chronicles Series, in which I share stories from my journey of getting my new #HuideDog, Jemma. #LeaderDogJemma

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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?

Continue reading "Dealing with Nay-Sayers: Leader Dog Chronicles"

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