October, 2000

Dear Mom,

My people finally left me alone again so I've got some time to write. Got your letter. Sorry I goofed with that improper use of, well, whatever you said. I guess you're right, calling my person "Miss Ami" is a lot better than "The Ami." Sorry. She likes me a lot, so I don't think she cared much. You ought to hear some of the dorky things she calls ME! I'm "Daze" or "Dazer" or "Crazy Daisy." Sometimes they forget who I am entirely and just call me "Good Dog." That's OK, 'cause I usually get a pat on the head or a hug when they do that.

Anyway, Mom, I'm much bigger now. I weigh about 40 pounds, and comin' up on my fifth month birthday. You should see me; everybody says I look like Pops. My feet are still huge, so I've got some growing left, which is a good thing cause I want to see what's on top of the refrigerator.

Being big has advantages. I can do lots more stuff. Like exploring. Do your people have a BATHROOM? We have one and it's a riot. The first time I went in with one of my humans I couldn't believe my eyes. Mom, did you know they can take their fur off? Sometimes parts of it, sometimes ALL of it. And boy are they ugly underneath.

Our bathroom has three fountains that all make noise and have water and stuff. My favorite is the one they call the tub. Now that I'm bigger I can lean way over the edge and lick the part that the water comes out of. It's too much fun.

Miss Ami lets me accidentally fall in sometimes. When that happens I "air swim" over to the drain and lick and lick. Every third lick I exhale and I sound just like that mean guy in Star Wars with the can on his head.

Sometimes she actually WANTS me in the tub. That's for something they call a bath. It's just too humiliating for me to explain. It involves a lot of water and I'm not supposed to drink any of it.

They don't like me drinking the water out of the other fountain either, the one with the lid on it. I never have except once last week when the lid was up. Miss Ami turned around and saw my chin dripping and she knew exactly what I'd done. She told me never ever to do that again. Not ever. I tried to look real sorry, but it was hard. That water was the best of all of the fountains. I don't know what the big deal is, but I like Miss Ami a lot and if she says not to do it, I'm not going to. Especially when she's lookin. Humans have bathrooms in other places too and I get to go in there and not have any fun either.

Anyway, Mom, the Future Leader Dog stuff is kind of fun. During the day I mostly stay in Miss Ami's office and she does work, but later when Miss Jennie and Mr. Steve come home I wear my Future Leader Dog cape (the pretty blue one) and we go out some place cool. My people hardly ever leave me at home. I go everywhere with them, which is all part of the plan. I'm supposed to get used to other people and different places and situations. When I get older I'll be able to ignore them completely and focus totally on helping my blind partner get around. Right now it's pretty easy. All you gotta do is just stand there and look like you know what you're doing and they think you're so talented.

Most of our trips are in the car. I love the car. I'm jumping up all by myself now I sit with Miss Ami when one of the other two drive. Otherwise, Miss Ami ties me to the door handle and away we go. I like sitting on her legs best. When she's not driving she pays more attention to me.

The first stop was the optometrist's office. Miss Jennie needed to have her eyes checked. I went in the little room with her and waited while they blew air in her eyes, had her watch colored lights, and made her look through this really ugly machine. (I was very good.) Miss Ami amused herself by trying on new glasses. She didn't get any. I look bored, but I was really helping.

Then we had lunch at Boston Market...

... and then we went shopping at Old Navy. They love me in there.

You can't believe how many clothes Miss Ami and Miss Jennie tried on. I was exhausted just watching them!

After that we were going to hit a movie, but we decided that there wasn't anything we wanted to see so we went to the Mall to walk around.

The only bad part is when people come over and want to play with me. They pet me all over without asking, or they try to roll me over. They're not supposed to do that, especially when I'm wearing my cape. I'm a workin dog then, you know. Miss Ami has to ask them not to rough me up and most of the time they get it. Sometimes they don't and they ignore her or make a nasty face and walk away. It makes Miss Ami feel really bad. (She says if I want to I can park on them, but I know she's just kidding.)

And Mom, isn't it amazing how many big people let their little people run right over and stick their hands in our faces? Don't they know that you should never pet a dog without asking the owner? Little humans are the most delicious and not all dogs are as well behaved as I am, right Mom? I hope nobody bothers me when I'm working with my blind partner. That would be terrible.

Miss Ami got to take me to see the first graders at St. John Vianney school and they all knew about not touching dogs unless you ask first. They were really polite. Here we are with Mrs.McNae's class. I did all my stuff for them and they liked me a lot. They were really swell.

I also got to do some other fun stuff this month. Miss Jennie marches in the band at high school so I go to all the football games. Sometimes they march in parades. (They're going to march at the Marshal Field Parade in Chicago on Thanksgiving, so make sure your people turn on the TV.)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we went to one of her parades. Miss Jennie marched and Miss Ami and me walked on the sidewalk behind all the people so we could watch them and cheer the whole way. It was a two mile parade route and boy was I pooped at the end. (I also pooped --- excuse me, "parked"--- at the end, too. And, we got to see all the other marchers including two really big, ugly dogs called camels. They're very lumpy but nice. After we visited with them, we walked the whole was back to the car and drove home.

I hear them coming in the door. I gotta get in position to welcome them home. I'll write again when I can. I love you Mom. I know you're gonna be real proud of me.

Love,
Daisy

If you enjoyed Daisy's letter, please consider helping her collect money for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Although puppy raisers volunteer their time, Leader Dogs for the Blind needs your support to help provide and fully train these wonderful dogs for their blind partners. Please send your tax deductible contributions made out to LEADER DOGS FOR THE BLIND to:

"Daisy"
Mallery Press, LLC
4206 Sheraton Drive
Flint, MI 48532

Thank you!

2000 by Ami Simms