January 2001

Dear Mom, Well, let me tell you the big excitement around here: we had snow! And we got lots of it. Itís up to myÖ.what am I saying, itís way OVER all of me! Miss Ami said we got more than 3 feet and itís still here. In fact every day, thereís more. I donít sink down all the way, thank goodness, otherwise my people would never find me again. But I go down pretty deep. Here I am with Mr. Steve

I donít go for a walk anymore; I go for a jump! I LOVE the snow. You can walk on it, and eat it, and sniff it up your nose, and roll in it, and park in it. Itís just like white dirt, isnít it Mom? I keep losing stuff in it, but other than that, itís very fun.

We also have things called icicles. They grow from the sky. Mr. Steve gives me pieces to eat. Theyíre like ice cubes but much bigger. This one took me nearly an hour to eat. For some reason I got really wet and my lips went numb, but it was still fun.

Miss Ami said we havenít had this much snow since 1973. Thatís a really long time ago in ďdog years.Ē

I got the whole story about how it always used to snow when Miss Ami and Mr. Steve were kids. Like I care what happened a million years ago. They used to make Snow Angels. Anyway Miss Ami tried to recapture her youth and we tried some. Itís pretty stupid; you just lay there and flap your legs, but I helped her anyway. Thatís my job.

I just wish that dorky hat she was wearing would have fallen off. What kind of fashion statement is THAT for a grown woman?

We had our Leader Dog Christmas Party with Aunt JoAnne and Uncle Dale in December. It was too much fun. The Lions Club hosted it and we got to run around and play. Lots of dogs were there. I got to see my sister Dharma and her people again. Dharma looks just like me, except Iím fatter. Iím not too fat anymore, Iím just the right amount of fat. Thatís what Dr Smith said. But Dharmaís people are big time into exercise. I think Dharma runs 12 miles every day and can bench press a moose. Here we are together. Iím by Jennieís leg. Dharmaís by Ellenís leg. Oh, I forgot you donít know what they look like. Sorry. Iím on the right.

Aspen was there, too. I wrote about him before. Heís such a Mamaís Boy. I walked over and smacked him just because. And when he didnít pay any attention to me I bit him on his hind leg. I think he likes me.

Iíve been getting mail, Mom. Itís delicious. Iím not allowed to eat it, but it smells really good and inside there are little silver things called dimes.

Itís all for Leader Dogs For The Blind and Miss Ami is helping me collect it. Weíve raised over $300 for them. Pretty neat, huh?

Remember I told you that we go to Puppy Class twice a month? Sometimes during the lessons we get to meet the blind students and their new dogs. Itís so cool to see what Iíll be doing if I do well on all my lessons. The students are really nice and I can tell they just love their new dogs. The dogs look really happy and know just what to do. Every time they stand up and introduce themselves and their dogs Miss Amiís face starts to leak and she has to go fish around in my clean-up bag for some paper towel to wipe it off her nose.

Iím not allowed to go meet any of them in class because their dogs are still getting used to them and to working and I might distract them. I probably would too, asking all sorts of questions about what itís going to be like for me. Whenever Miss Jennie comes to class we stay together and Miss Ami talks to some of the students.

They look just like regular people, Mom. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are really young, and others are really old. And, they do all sorts of different things. Weíve met singers, writers, grandmothers, students, teachers, and business people. One lady and her dog are going to travel over 10,000 miles working for the Lions Club. Another lady is going home to New York City where she and her dog are going to ride subways and take taxis together. (I hope I get to go some place fun like that.) Some live by themselves, and others have families, with kids and everything. Some dogs get to learn Spanish because theyíll live with their blind partner in Mexico or South America! Can you imagine, Mom? That could be me some day.

In the meanwhile, Iím going to practice my ďdown/stay.Ē Iíll try and write more later. I love you, Mom and Iím sure going to work hard so youíll be real proud of me.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help train dogs like Daisy, please make your check out to Leader Dogs For The Blind, or send a Dime for Daisy to:

Mallery Press, LLC
4206 Sheraton Drive
Flint, MI 48532-3557

©2001 by Ami Simms