YLF 394C
DOB Aug 16 1997
Sire - Tracer YLM
Dam - Jackie YLF

Journal's litter mates were 1) Janelle YLF, graduated April 24, 1999 2) Jenkings YLM career changed 3) Jodie YLF career changed 4) Jola YLF  5) Jolene YLF, raised in Flagstaff, AZ, graduated Apr 24, 1999, upon retirement was adopted by a Luthern minister in Flagstaff, AZ  6) Journal YLF was career changed and adopted by her raiser, my youngest daughter, Wendy Thomas and 7) July YLF graduated Mar xx,xxxx.

Wendy received Journal when Sandy received Kumi on Oct. 25, 1997 in Sedona, AZ.  Journal returned to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. for breeder watch / formal training on Oct. 24, 1998.  She was the last to be loaded on the mini-bus at Mesa Community College bound for San Rafael, CA.  Journal did not want to leave Wendy which made it heartbreaking to put her in the bus kennel.

Formal training notes about Journal included "large substantial female".  Interpreted, I think, that means she was very robust, overly exuberant and bulldozed her objects of play, knocking down other dogs in the community run as well as taking out a few instructors and instructor assistants.   Journal clipped me, all members of my family and all our visitors on our property in Mesa, AZ.  The problem here is Journal had up 300 feet to run, circle and head for you before impact.  When you hit the ground with the breath knocked out of you, Journal circled and licked your face until you got up or someone assisted you up so Journal could repeat the play.  Wendy cracked a tooth when she was playfully clipped and hit the concrete paver block patio.

Journal was a mother to all of us and to, guide dog puppy in training, Freida.  When Freida strayed more than about 8 feet from Robert, Journal would bring her back in her mouth and drop her on Robert's boots.

In late 2005, Wendy noticed Journal was throwing her left hip as if she had hurt herself bounding down the stairs.   Initial X-ray interpretation was "subluxation of the left hip".  Wendy took good care of her as prescribed but she did not improve.  MRIs revealed the actual problem - an inoperable tumor in Journal's abdomin had quickly spread up through and around her lower spine like vise grip pliers squeezing her nerve bundle in her spinal cord.   When she did "her business", Wendy pulled her tail out from under her.  She lost control of her happiness indicator.  Then, Journal began to lose control of her left rear leg and paw.  Wendy gave her pills for pain in the morning and evening.  Journal continued to deteriorate until Wendy mercifully said very tearful good byes and a very caring and sensitive vet put her to sleep on her rug at home.  This process was as easy as it gets.  Journal's head gently lowered.  Journal passed on in the presence of Wendy, Lee Ann and her dog Shakeeo, and Sandy and Robert at Wendy and Lee Ann's home on 23rd Way in Phoenix, Arizona.  Up until the very end, Journal was very concerned about Wendy.  Lee Ann gave Journal a doggie biscuit.  With one robust bite, she gulped it then she crushed one last biscuit as she passed very peacefully.  For a very long time, Wendy placed her leg affectionately across Journal and loved her and cryed.  Then Journal's body began to cool.  Then, Stacy, the vet, Wendy and Mark (vet's assistant) gently placed Journal on a stretcher.  We walked out with her.  Wendy opened the vehicle hatch door.  Journal was placed in the back of Stacy's SUV.  We kissed and hugged Journal one last time.  Stacy had Journal cremated.  After a couple of days, Wendy found a puppy much like Journal.  She named the puppy Aiden Journal Thomas.  Wendy received Journal's ashes.  We still cry uncontrollably over Journal's passing yet are relieved the cancer can no longer deteriorate a very proud and confident dog.  No more suffering, whinning and crying in pain.


In the Kitchen

Sandy holding puppy Journal

Labby welfare line

Distraction training


Whole herd

Robert M. Thomas
Faculty Emeritus
Arizona State University

Improving lives of people with little or no sight!