Ebu’s first Christmas as a guide dog

Ebu, the black labrador who as a trainee guide dog often participated in our interactive sensitizing programmes has now become a fully-qualified guide dog and is spending his first Christmas with his owner.

In the picture we can see Ebu as a trainee guide dog,  sitting in a circle of children
Ebu as a trainee guide dog

Kriszta, Ebu’s owner gives a heartwarming account of Ebu’s first Christmas in the following letter:

Christmas gift

The most wonderful three days of the year are here. Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when we show our care, concern, and compassion to our loved ones. We buy and receive gifts that reflect our love for each other. Another year is almost over. In the festive season we evaluate and re-evaluate. Standing in front of the Christmas tree, seeing the glowing faces of our loved ones we feel and relive the happy moments of the year and for a short while we forget about the painful, tearful memories. Christmas is a special time of the year but this Christmas is even more special and joyful for me because our family has a new member. Ebu has arrived into our life!
Ebu is an exceptional creature. To a stranger he is „only” a guide dog, but to me he is much, much more! What is a guide dog? A helpmate? A friend?A family member? A dog that can love unconditionally? All of these together! For me Ebu is a miracle. My first guide dog, also a black labrador, came into my life as a little puppy and stayed with me until his last breath. He was a wonderful companion, an invaluable helpmate and a true friend.
Emma was also a miracle and even though she has been chasing butterflies on the Pastures of Heaven for twelve years now, she still fills a special place in my heart. She loved to work and she loved to live. Like a true labrador she had a playful, childlike soul but if there was a need, she became calm and collected in an instant and guarded me from all possible dangers. She was smart, gentle and beautiful. Wherever we went, people stopped and praised her and she was all very well aware that all that praise was just for her!:-)
When she left us I could not imagine ever having a guide dog again. Years passed until I could even think of having a new dog. I knew that there would never be an other Emma, because she was one of a kind. Then I thought I should raise a puppy again and train together, but in the end my plan fell through because of my worsening health condition. Finally I decided to apply for a qualified guide dog. I was afraid that maybe I won’t be able to bond so deeply with a fully grown dog but luckily my fears turned out to be baseless.
On 1 December I was on the train heading for Miskolc to meet my new guide dog. My heart was filled with high expectations. I felt like a mother who can hardly wait to cuddle her newborn baby into her arms for the very first time. A miracle happened to me on that December day. I fell head over heels in love with a black labrador boy. What is more wondrous is that this love is mutual. Although we have only been together for 24 days it feels as if we have known each other for many years. I feel him and he feels me. He senses it when I’m sick or when I’m down and he feels it when I’m fine and happy. He wants to be by my side night and day and I give thanks for that every single minute of the day. He also helps me get around in town and we have already learned some routes I frequently use. He is very reliable and smart. We will surely need some more time to be in perfect sync but I already know one thing for sure: a new and happy life has begun for both of us. Ebu is an exceptionally beautiful and smart dog. He loves people and he loves to be on the go. And he is right, because wherever we go, he gets a lot of love and appreciation from people. He is a true labrador: playful, friendly, smart, obedient and he would do anything for me – or for a tasty treat! It is so great to see how disciplined he can be when we eat out in a restaurant. He lies under my chair calmly, peacefully and patiently waits until we are finished.
This year, under the Christmas tree there will be a present waiting for Ebu, too. He does not know anything about the meaning of Christmas, he does not know that we are celebrating love. His love is ceaseless, his love is unconditional and it illuminates every day of the year. I think we, humans have a lot to learn from these wonderful creatures. I cannot tell it to him, so I’m telling everyone: I am so proud of him and I’m so proud I can be his owner. I hope there will be many-many Christmases to come that we can celebrate together!
I wish Ebu and every dog a Merry Christmas and a loving human to take care of them!
And last, but not least I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone: breeders, puppy raisers, dog trainers, the team at Baráthegyi Guide Dog School and the donators who make it possible for visually imparied people like me to have a wonderful companion like Ebu!
Merry Christmas!

Dear Kriszta, thank you so much again for your heartwarming letter!