F INANCIAL F O R U M
Meet Our Gentle Girl and Our Energetic Boy THE IRVING LABRADORS
I grew up with dogs, so it was only natural when I began my own family for us to get a dog of our own. When you live with dogs your whole life, you get used to having four paws and fur in your home; dogs provide unique comfort and companionship that you can’t find anywhere else! Named after Shea Stadium, our family’s first dog, Shea, was a cocker spaniel. Shea was a great dog, and when she passed, we knew we had to fill the furry hole in our home. Now 16 years old, our lab, Powder, has been with us for all of life’s biggest changes. She’s watched the kids grow up, she was there for my wife, Becky, and I when the kids moved out of the house, and she’s been a silent companion as we welcomed our first grandchild, Owen, this winter. Mellowed out by her old age, Powder has her own routine, but our black lab, Fiddler, keeps her active. In fact, they occasionally have playful and crazy wrestling matches in our den! Three-year-old Fiddler loves to play, and you better not leave his side. He always wants to be in the action, following us around the house wherever we go. However, when we make our way upstairs to go to bed, Fiddler is content staying downstairs. Why he has this quirky habit, we may never know, but my guess is that it has something to do with the beginning of Fiddler’s life.
The Seeing Eye carefully breeds Seeing Eye dogs to help those with vision impairments gain back their independence and confidence. This philanthropic and educational
organization includes training programs for both the dogs and their recipients to develop strong relationships between the dog,
their owner, and the general public. To accomplish this, volunteers and employees dedicate their time to creating loving, supportive environments for the dogs.
We are dedicated to your financial success. • 1 Our dogs have added so much to our lives. Their personalities and company, especially since both of our kids have left the home, have meant the world to Becky and me. I can’t imagine our home without dogs, and it’s likely I’ll never find out what that’s like. —Brian Irving However, about 30–40 percent of the puppies, according to The Seeing Eye, don’t qualify for guide dog training or status, so at a very young age, they are adopted out or donated to organizations in need. As you may have guessed, when my wife learned that a certain black lab named Fiddler wasn’t suitable for service dog training, she knew we had to have him. Fiddler came to our home with a few trained skills and eager to play. I always wonder if he has made it his personal job to keep watch over our home at night, and that’s why he won’t join us upstairs. He may have failed to meet the criteria for The Seeing Eye, but he’s certainly done our home a service. It just wouldn’t be the same without him or Powder.
We adopted Fiddler from The Seeing Eye, a 90-year-old organization in Morris Township, New Jersey, devoted to the breeding and the
training of Seeing Eye dogs for those who are blind or visually impaired. Becky, an animal lover for as long
as I can remember, has been volunteering with
the organization for about seven years, and every week she helps the organization at its breeding facility.
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