Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ASTA's long journey begins...

MAXMOM here...
(Above: Toby, Tammy, Asta and King Toffee)

Hello there to all our friends around the world.

Weddings, rugby, MAXDOG rollout, the hottest day in October....
 there's never a dull moment  in our household!

On Sunday afternoon it was time for a walk - a special walk:

ASTA's FAREWELL romp in the doggie park.

So we bundled all the dogs into the car - TOBY, TAMMY as well as THE KING - and headed up the road to join ASTA and her family.
(Above: LtoR: Asta, Tammy, Toby and Tosca -another guide-dog-in-training)
(Above: Lorraine's ASTA)

We have shared ASTA's journey for 16 months now.  We've watched her grow from that small puppy, when Lorraine first brought her home to the beautiful young dog she is today. During this time TOBY and her have become best friends.

We've seen ASTA learn the foundational ropes of being a Guide-dog Puppy in training.  And we also watched her enjoy herself freely when she's had the opportunity to romp and frolick.  Lorraine has done a truly awesome job with ASTA and I think should be commended for her dedication and hard work.

Unfortunately, yesterday was the day to say goodbye and for ASTA to return to the
SOUTH AFRICAN GUIDE DOG ASSOCIATION here in Johannesburg, South Africa.

(Above: Lorraine and Asta arrive at the Guide-Dogs Training Centre)

(Above: "Look who's there...its AERO, your sister!")

(Above: Asta gets settled into her kennel)
(Above: Lorraine says 'Good-bye')

In the next 6 months ASTA will be undergoing the serious training towards her specialised vocation.

If all goes well, by June next year, she will be opening the doors to someone's life.

What an amazing gift she will become...
But admittedly, it's also sad for us because now we have to bid farewell.

We will never forget that beautiful puppy who arrived on Lorraine's doorstep.
Nor will we forget Lorraine's selfless committment to helping make the world a better place.
What a privilege it has been to follow your journey.

Good luck ASTA.  We are going to miss you...lots!
And good luck to Lorraine too - who will be getting a new guide-dog puppy in the next few weeks.  We look forward to following his/her journey too.

Sending lotsaluv



Anonymous said...

Thank you my friend for a lovely tribute to a special dog.

Angus said...

All the best for Asta . Another dog that will make a huge difference to peoples lives !

Bouncing Bertie said...

Lots of love and licks to both Asta and Lorraine, they'll be feeling a bit strange just now, but Lorraine will be comforted by knowing what a wonderful thing she has done for another human, and for sure Asta will be treated well too as she learns her valuable grown-up role in life.
Toodle pip!

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh Maxmom, how sad to say goodbye to Asta but how wonderful to think of her potential to change someone's life in such a huge way. Well done Lorraine and hugs to you. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

The Musketeers said...

Oh~ It's sad to say goodbye for Asta for sure, she's such a lovely dog. And I'm sure she is able to change ones beautiful life.

Molly the Airedale said...

How sad for Lorraine to say good-by. We wish Asta only the best and we hope she has a blog one day so we can follow her adventures.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

Bitter sweet day I think. Asta will truly make a difference to someone's life and that is a gift but sad for your friend to say goodbye. I think your friend does deserve our praise because it takes a special person to be able to give love and guidance and then give the dog back. Truly special person without who someone would not benefit in a special way.oodluck Asta in the next chapter of your life.. Hugs GJ xx

Two French Bulldogs said...

A day to celebrate but a very sad day to saying goodbye to sweet Asta
Benny & Lily

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

It is very sad to say farewell to such a good pal, but knowing the good that she will one day do for another human must make it a bit easier. We are sending wishes to Asta for a very successful and happy future.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Amber DaWeenie said...

I just don't know how these "puppy raisers" do it. I know they probably have the most important job in getting the puppy ready for it's lifetime work, but it must be so hard to say goodbye.

Marg said...

This kind of training does take a lot of work. I raised a puppy and just did the preliminary puppy training. Those dogs really do get a lot of training. Thanks so much for coming by our blog. I had forgotten that I had written that post. I am so glad you have written a book about Max. That should be a good one. We will have to see about getting one of those.

Sheila and Bob said...

What a bittersweet moment, but where would this world be without folks like Lorraine and Dogs like Asta.
Thank God for those folks and organizations.

Sheila & Bob

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Boy, what an incredibly unselfish thing to do. I'm not so sure that my dad could do that and let a dog go. Good luck Asta.

Scout and Freyja said...

Where does the time go? I remember when I first read about her when Lorraine brought her home and then when she came to play with Toby - who was just a little guy then, too. Asta will be such a blessing to someone. Lorraine IS a blessing to someone who will have Asta as a life-long companion. God Bless and Safe Journey.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Good luck sweet Asta,,, our hearts go with you. Someday you will make a huge difference in someones life.
Someday someone will make a huge difference in your life too.

24 Paws of Love said...

Such a bittersweet parting. Lots of love and luck to Asta on her new journey. She's going to make someone a very happy person. :)

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

All the best to Asta as her world changes and she will open the doors of the world for someone else. I have friends that are both blind and have had guide dogs, and I know the how big of a difference these pups can make for them. I admire Lorraine for raising Asta and letting her go. I know it's not easy...

Josie said...


What a wonderful tribute for a very special dog. You write so beautifully. Asta is going to make wonderful guide dog. You've done a good thing!!

On another note, I just visited Maxdog's site again...I cannot wait for the book to come out. I was reminded that Maxdog passed on my birthday. I share my special day with his passing. And I hold him close to me in my heart even though we never met. Isn't that weird? No, I don't think so, we met through this crazy internet!! Love you, woofs and hugs....MB, Josie and Blues