So here’s the thing… in trying to introduce myself, I realized I’m in a bit of an identity crisis.
I am originally from New York, Patterson, New York to be exact, and I grew up with my AWESOME puppy raiser around there, but I’ve heard through the grapevine (that is to say Shea and the people we meet on a day to day basis) that labrador retrievers as a race (breed is so demeaning) began in Newfoundland, whereas Newfoundland dogs claim they are routed in Labrador… weird! So, really, should I even be calling myself a labrador, if we came from Newfoundland, and am I Canadian, or American? But then, people don’t talk about American or Canadian labs, they talk about American or British labs, which makes no sense at all! So, am I American, Canadian, or British? And shouldn’t they be talking about American, Canadian, and British Newfoundlands, not labs?
People tell me I’m an American Lab (Newfoundland?), which basically means I’m stunningly gorgeous in comparison to those stocky, blocky, British labs. I am inclined to agree with them. THere’s no doubt I’m slim, trim, and looking American, right down to the stars and stripes pin on my harness. Besides, no offense to Canada or England, but America is the best. I’ll have to expand on that in a future post.
So, with that decided…
Hello, my name is Oleta Renee, and I am a black, American labrador retriever, except I’m actually a labrador guide dog. Shea is my person/Mom/best friend/partner in…er…completely legal activities. I have earned my doctoral degree in guide work (attained at the acclaimed University of Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY), and went back to receive a human high school diploma with Shea. I am now currently studying music, with a minor in squirrel management and dog therapy at Shea’s university in Nashville. By the way, fellow educated canines, if you are thinking about getting a degree in squirrel management, my university is a great place to do it… a lot of practical experience.
Anyway, you will come to know me and more about my work as I post along with Shea on our blog. I look forward to getting to know y’all as well! Guide dog friends, make sure you drop in so we can swap guiding tails (see what I did there?).