Chef: In Memoriam

Jessica and Chef walking out from Number 1 Subway, 23rd station

Life is a series of dogs.
— George Carlin

Let me amend that. Life is a series of dogs who break our hearts. It’s often said that we measure our lives by the dogs we have, the dogs we love. Last Thursday, Chef, the incomparable companion of Jessica Jones, died at age 9 of a brain tumor.

Chef was a guide dog, a faithful companion and a loyal friend. Jessica’s story is bound to his. He was the one who lifted her from her isolation when she first lost her vision. Chef emanated more than just his canine musk, though he surely emanated that too. Knowing a dog like Chef was a gift. He was a dog with a work ethic absent in – dare I say – most humans. Seeing him with Jessica was to truly understand the phrase “unconditional love.”

Unfortunately, Chef’s life, like all dogs it seems, was far too short. But his memory endures in our hearts. Forever immortalized in Going Blind, Chef’s image, that beautiful black coat of his, lives on in posters, postcards, the Evaluation Report, the Outreach Toolkit, the website and on and on and on.

Our hope is that Jessica’s story continues to touch those who watch the film. Maybe someone out there still struggling with vision loss upon seeing the film will go out and get a guide dog. A guide dog like Chef. A guide dog because of Chef. A guide dog that changes one’s life for the better.

To us, Chef wasn’t simply a guide dog. He was the guide dog.

He remains a symbol to many and an inspiration to all.

But we’re still gonna miss him.

A lot.