The Difficult Goodbye When A Guide Dog Retires

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For seven years Ray Lambert’s guide dog Dayne has been by his side. Now Dayne is ready to retire and the goodbye for Lambert is difficult.

Lambert began losing his sight 25 years ago. Today he has no peripheral vision and can’t see color or anything at night. Seven years ago Dayne came into his life and has been helping Lambert through his life. “It’s a very, very close relationship,” said Lambert. Although Dayne could probably work another year or two but Lambert wanted Dayne to retire. “I wanted to give him away to somebody while he still could be a dog and be healthy,” said Lambert.

Ray is being trained with a new dog and Dayne will now spend his retirement with a retired woman and will spend some time working as a therapy dog at nursing homes and most importantly enjoying being a dog and relaxing. “It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Lambert. “I’m really going to miss him.”

8 thoughts on “The Difficult Goodbye When A Guide Dog Retires”

  1. you, sir, are an asshole. i hope your wife and kids dump you a year our two before your expected time of death so you can enjoy “freedom” from being a husband and father. that dog should’ve walked you into traffic.

    • threenoms, YOU are being overly judgemental. the gentleman has made a painful decision because he feels it will be best for the dog. yes, they will miss each other, but Dayne is probably more resiliant than Mr. Lambert. I’m sure he also factored in the very real possibility that should Dayne begin having health issues he would be unable to care for him properly, and at that point it would be VERY much more difficult to rehome him. Even with a new dog in his life, I’m sure there is still a VERY empty place that hurts.

  2. Dont know where that previous comment is coming from. For what?! He allowed the dog to RETIRE not b euthanized. Dane spends his last couple of years with a retired woman and will continue to “work” as a therapy dog.

    I think he did an amazing thing by not being selfish and asking him to work another few years. Ignore the ignorant comments.

    Nicely done. Wishing you a seamless transition with your next guide dog.

  3. My husband is blind and has had a guide dog for the last 7 1/2 years. We understand how hard it is to let your dog retire. It is wonderful the joy and companionship the dogs bring to a life with a person who is vision impaired. However, it would be cruel to keep the dog and make it work when it is getting old. The stress that is on these dogs throughout their lives to take care of their person is great. Did you notice how white the muzzle is on the face of that beautiful golden retriever? It takes over two years to train a dog plus seven years of work, that makes the dog about 9 years old. It shows. Plus the retiree guide dog just would not understand why she/he would not be allowed to do the job when a new young dog was brought home to replace it. Retirement is the best thing to do. It gives guide Dogs a chance while still healthy to have some great times at being just a dog and a pet. My husband went to Southeastern Guide Dogs in Florida for his. There is a five-year waiting list of people who want to adopt retired dogs. And therapy as spoke of in this story is just going to a place to be loved on. I know that my husbands’ dog would enjoy that, she was always available for a belly rub or any kind of loving she could get no matter who it was.

  4. @threenorns, Clearly you are not seeing the bigger picture at play here, so please do seek treatment for your scotoma.

  5. To threemoms: God forbid that you ever need a guide dog and the poor dog dies when your out in traffic.

    How terrible of you to berate this man that is obviously very attached to his dog. Would the dog be better off sitting at home while he is out and about with his new dog? Yes, I am sure Dayne will miss him but he will also have a wonderful life and someone that loves him very much and will let him be a dog.

    YOU are the asshole.


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