Dona and Paxon (Yellow Labrador Retriever)


Paxon and I live in Northern California .  I work full time and have been in the telecommunications industry for the past 18 years.  I love all animals, and have had dogs and cats my entire life.  I am “mom” to a gorgeous 19-year old Orange Tabby named Buddy the Kitty and to Paxon, a beautiful six year old Yellow Lab.


I am honored to be an Epi Guardian Angel, and my desire is to provide you and your dog with the level of information and support that Paxon and I received when we found the Epi Guardian Angels. I would like to share Paxon’s story with you.


Paxon is a Career Change Guide Dog, born May 10, 2001.  He was released from the program when it was discovered that he has mild elbow dysplasia during the routine x-rays that are given all the Guide Dogs at 8 months of age. I started volunteering for the Guide Dogs after meeting a neighbor’s career-change Yellow Lab Guide Dog.  I used to baby-sit him when his “parents” were traveling, and I just adored this dog.  Being around him made me want to adopt a dog of my own, and I so filled out the paperwork and went through the interview process at the Guide Dogs in San Rafael , California .  I was told that many people wait several years or more before they have the opportunity to adopt.  But I was very lucky.  One Saturday after I had been on the waiting list about nine months, I happened to be at the Guide Dogs facility in San Rafael .  It was the very morning that Paxon’s x-rays revealed the elbow dysplasia, and he was released for adoption.  I was the first person who saw him, and adopted him immediately. 


Paxon is a big, tall Yellow Lab, weighing 102 pounds.  He's so handsome and friendly that people often stop me at the dog park and when we are out doing errands to comment on his good looks.  He is very light for a Yellow Lab – almost white – and in striking contrast he has beautiful dark eyes and a coal black nose.  I was once asked by a total stranger “do you put eyeliner on your dog only when you take him for a walk, or do you put it on him every morning no matter what?"  Please know that I do not put make-up on my dog . . . although he is so good-natured he would probably let me.


Paxon turned six on May 10, 2007, but he still acts like a big puppy.  I always tell people that he is the smartest “person” that I know.  He is very motivated by food, and so is easy to train. He knows 18 tricks very well and enjoys learning new ones. He learns very quickly and after being shown a trick two or three times, as long as a treat is involved, he never forgets it.  He is very sweet and sociable, gets along well with all other dogs, people and most cats.  The only thing Paxon loves more than food is the water.  If there is a puddle, he's in the middle of it, and he swims in the pool every day.


Paxon is my constant companion and I take him everywhere that I can.  I work from home several days per week and he typically sleeps on my feet or on the bed while I work (my job involves being on the computer and phone all day long).  He sleeps inside at night - the couch in the family room is his bed.  He is never left outside by himself.  Paxon loves to go out, and each day we either take a long walk around the neighborhood or go up to the friendly local dog park.


Paxon had a Grand Mal seizure – seemingly out of nowhere - on June 9, 2006.  There were a few warning signs, but at the time I didn’t realize it.  I had never seen a seizure before, and had no idea that dogs could even have seizures.  He was rushed to the emergency room and spent several days on valium drips and going through many tests with a neurologist; blood work, MRI’s, CAT Scans, Spinal Taps, etc..  I received a very grim diagnosis from the neurologist, but had found the Epi Canine Guardian Angels site the night of Paxon’s seizure.  I sent an email, and quickly received a response, filled with information and with hope.  I was devoted to making sure that all of Paxon’s days were filled with as much happiness and love as possible, and I decided then and there to follow all the advice and recommendations that I was given by Joanne, Guardian Angel Avionda and the Epi Guardian Angels site.  Paxon has been seizure-free since June 10, 2006.  The Guardian Angels saved his life.