Fully Trained Service Dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind
When we contacted Marna's mom about Marna being our Blissful Dog of the Day we did not know she was a working Guide Dog. What a delightful and heart-warming interview this was and we're thrilled to be able to share a glimpse of life with a Guide Dog. We applaud each and every volunteer and supporter along the way who helped Marna fulfill her purpose.
The Blissful Dog: Your dog’s name. Full name, if applicable registered name and any nicknames.
A.R. Her name is Marna
The Blissful Dog: Tell us the meet-cute story? Were you running errands and happened to pass a rescue group hosting an adoption day? Your eyes met and it was love at first sight? Even if your son moved to Australia and couldn’t take his dog and that’s how you ended up with your buddy, we want to know!
A.R. I was blessed to be matched with Marna by Guide Dogs for the Blind, and we graduated the program in the summer of 2011. She actually wasn't that impressed with me...she didn't dislike me, but I wasn't super fascinating either. Until she learned that I am totally down to snuggle between training lessons.
The Blissful Dog: We are so not age-ist here, can you share how old your dog is? If you know your dog’s birthday, let us know.
A.R. Marna is 9 years old, and was born on October 30, 2009.
The Blissful Dog: Oh my, Marna is a Scorpio! Scorpios are passionate and mysterious. They may find it hard to commit to one person, but when they do they become very loyal and reliable. They do a good job of hiding it, but they can be easily offended and appreciate constructive criticism and praise. Yep, you had her with cuddles, that is so Scorpio!
The Blissful Dog: Is this your only dog or pet?
A.R. Marna is the only dog in the house, but she has lots of friends!
The Blissful Dog: Does your dog watch dogs on TV? Is there a fave show or channel?
A.R. Marna's not into TV, but she loves it when you get super into a song and sing or dance. She gets so excited and wants to share it with you, sometimes by running around you, sometimes by giving you her front paws and furious kisses.
The Blissful Dog: I am getting quite the Footloose vibe from the two of you! Now I gotta cut loose, Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes!
The Blissful Dog: What is your dog’s favorite splurge for a snack? A bit of steak, a bully stick, stolen cat litter box truffles?
A.R. Marna loves her apples and her carrots! She will take anything you give her being a Lab, but these are her favorites apart from her birthday frozen peanut butter Kong treat she gets each year.
The Blissful Dog: If your dog could be any other breed or mix of dog, what do think they would be?
A.R. She'd probably be some kind of lap dog. She likes to snuggle and to be pampered.
The Blissful Dog: What is the funniest thing your dog ever did? Did they paper the house with an entire 12-pack of Charmin’s finest? Or did they drag out the contents of your clothes hamper to show your dinner party guests? Or maybe you have a Houdini hound
A.R. Guide dogs are trained to target, or show their handlers certain things like doors, steps, and chairs. Once I gave Marna the command to find chair while in a doctor's office waiting room. She did find me a chair, but it was a tiny toddler sized one! I was very entertained. She's also been startled by her own reflection in a store's mirror, and gotten her entire face and paws covered in blue frosting while trying to pretend she didn't help herself to some birthday cake.
The Blissful Dog: Marna, I am with you on sneaking some birthday cake. Crumbs on my chin, frosting on my teeth and I'm still acting innocent.
The Blissful Dog: Has Marna ever taken an obedience class? Class clown or class star?
A.R. Marna is a fully trained service dog, so she's taken plenty of classes! She probably falls somewhere in the middle given her personality. She is very serious about her job, but she is also very independent and loves to play.
The Blissful Dog:It sounds like Marna has very good balance between work and play. She has her self-care down pat.
The Blissful Dog: If you could tell Marna one thing and know they 100% understood, what would it be?
A.R. My life is better with you in it. I love you with all my heart and am so thankful that we were matched. I couldn't imagine a better partner to trust my safety and independence with, and I hope I'm giving you a fraction of what you give me.
The Blissful Dog: Does Marna have any silly habits or idiosyncrasies? Does she spin in circles before pooping? Does she always (every. single. time.) bark when the microwave beeps? What is that funny little thing Marna does that always makes you smile?
A.R. Every time we have a guest who has a dog, whether it be pet or service dog go home, she rolls across the entire living room floor on her back, kicking her paws and snorting with delight. She loves having her friends over, but she also loves having her people and her home back to herself.
She also knows that after dinner she is supposed to get vitamins and medicine, so if you don't have it ready for you she badgers you into getting them for her with nose and paws and wagging tail.
The Blissful Dog: Here’s your chance - Share anything you care to about Marna.
A.R. Marna has touched my life in so many ways, from broadening my horizons and making me confident enough to travel more, to being the catalyst for making so many important friends. I am so grateful for the puppy-raisers, trainers and support staff that make Guide Dogs for the Blind possible and that brought this dog into my life.
I would recommend looking into this program if you want to give to a worthy cause, or be a part of bringing travel confidence and independence to people's lives.
She's one of the best things that ever happened to me, and she's taught me so much. She's not just a service dog, she's so very much more.
The Blissful Dog: We are so grateful you and Marna were able to share your story with us today. We echo your sentiments and hope our readers will consider supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind.