You know how you just get a feeling when something is meant to be? That’s exactly what happened when I found my family at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. They came in to get a female dog but when they heard about a blind dog named Echo, they became curious and asked to meet me. Every instinct triggered when I sensed their approach: They’re the ones! Alexis, her daughter Aria and grandmother Rita took to me immediately, and I felt the same pull, especially toward the littlest one, Nyctalus, who was in a stroller. When it was time for them to meet the other dog on their list, I refused to leave Nyctalus’ side. They got my message. “Echo chose us,” they always say. They brought me home to Los Altos Hills, where our pack also includes Alexis’ brother Wesley. Right away, my family realized that my blindness doesn’t hold me—or them—back. I love to cuddle, chase balls and I’m even an amazing agility course runner. I still feel that special bond with Nyctalus and wherever he goes, I go. Sometimes I get the urge to gently nip at his shoulders and the back of his shirt, which is actually a behavior shown by epilepsy service dogs. I’m the one who figured out that Nyctalus was having seizures. Now I’m in the process of being certified as his service dog. Since I’m also partly deaf, I’m being trained entirely by touch cues. For example, when I feel a long stroke from the top of my nose up to the top of my head, I know that means “Sit.” I’m also training my family back. When I earn a reward, I’ve taught them which nibbles I enjoy most. Since I’m always excited to learn something new, that means lots of tasty treats ahead!
Calling All Dogs: If you've got quirky habits or a funny tale (or tail) to share, email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to share a page from your Diary of a Dog in PUNCH.