For Jericho, Happy Guiding.

My throat aches from holding back my tears. I couldn’t quite detect whether they were from sadness or happiness; perhaps a mixture of the two. I’ve known this day would come, but I never expected it to arrive so soon. I look at Jericho proudly sitting next to his new partner, ears perked up on the top of his broad head, inquisitive nose twitching with the intake of new scents in the air. His honey-golden eyes, loving and innocent, meet mine and instantly warms my heart. It’s as if he were assuring me that he would miss me too and everything would be all right. I drop down to his level and hug him tightly.

“You be a good boy, now,” I say. Jericho fondly licks away an escaped tear down my face. After a deep breath and a ruffle to his head, I straighten up and say goodbye to him and his new companion. Jericho happily wags his tail as the man next to him grasps the handle of the harness and voices the command, “Forward!”

He expertly obeys and confidently guides the blind man away. After a quick wave goodbye, I turn around and let the tears fall, though with a smile. These, I decided, are tears of happiness.



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