Vietnam Vet with Assistance Dog

I made a point to grab a chance and meet this colorful character and his service dog when I spotted them hanging out on the plaza. Only days earlier our dogs had barked ferociously at each other, and I deem it important to teach my pups good manners. It helps to go towards what we fear, I think in general. I practice this more with my pups then myself I must admit. So this is how I started to learn that about Ray Masterson, a Vietnam vet and his certified assistance dog Yukon.

Vietnam Vet with Assistance Dog in Fiesta Parade

Yukon came to him after his prior service dog had died, so he had to train this fourth service dog from scratch, not easy. But Yukon learned to help him negotiate their blind corners from the back of their bike, they were such a sight together, here at the Fiesta 08 Parade, bicycling for peace. When I met them they had been together already 10 years.

Viva La Fiesta - Peace!

Today I learned that Yukon, now 14 years old, lives retired at Melon Ranch with three other female dogs, but not before he trained the next service dog. Ray found him like all the ones prior at a shelter and only 2 years old, the puppy in him still visible. Ray looks very pleased with his new companion, somehow I was not in the frame of mind to take their image even though my Olympus was in my pocket and they looked handsome together, for once on foot.

His yellow bike got replaced with a new Schwinn that has given him nothing but problems, so he said today. But then walking is not the worst when the roads still are littered with icy patches. I am glad our streets are filled with colorful characters like Ray and his service dogs.

1 comment:

  1. Dawson is the name of his new service dog.