Saturday, January 24. 2009
This involves two friends I've made over the past couple of years and a little guy starting out on a new career.
I met Richard when I started working at my current site just under two years ago. Richard's been totally blind since childhood and it's be an education and a privilege to get to know him. He's changed my perspective on the world. I remember all those Blue Peter Guide Dogs for the Blind appeals as a kid and it isn't like I didn't know there were blind people but, like most things, I hadn't really thought it through until it was, well, in front of my eyes.
Marco is a Dutch Oracle geek who I met at the Hotsos Symposium in 2007 and we've stayed in touch since, meeting up at conferences occasionally. Marco was kind enough to bring me a gift of a lion at UKOUG last December. When he got back to my place, we did discuss calling him Marco, but somewhow, Mario seemed to fit best.
As we approached Christmas, I decided that Sponsoring a Guide Dog as a puppy might make a good gift for my daughter. She has a soft spot for most animals anyway and, despite my own internal conflict about charity, breeding and training guide dogs is an expensive business. So I sent off for the pack and when she opened it on Christmas Day she was clearly very pleased although I was a bit disconcerted that she seemed most interested in the section that explained that not all puppies make the grade but then they are re-homed. I had visions of her following the puppy around during his training and dangling dog biscuits in front of him so he would screw up his training and need to be re-homed. Her home being the obvious destination! Let's hope the wee guy can make the grade though. I think it can be a tough working life sometimes, but he'll be very important to someone.
As she started reading the letter, I had to chuckle to myself ....
"Marco's amazing adventure starts here ...."
Oh, and the ironic punchline? Anyone who is blind can't see that photo of Marco. Suffice to say that he looks a little more sad, serious and even grumpy than just a cute little puppy might, but he has an important life in front of him. In fact, he looked cuter and happier in the other photo but I like this one personally.
Good luck, Marco.
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