New pet keeps couple busy

Published 9:27 pm Monday, November 17, 2003

By By REBECCA MOSES / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Two weeks after retiring from the city's utilities board and the Family Independence Agency board, Bruce Waterhouse plans on spending his time vacationing and relaxing.
Unlike most retirees, however, he and his wife, Janey, also spend their time training and raising a young dog.
The two-year-old golden retriever, who the Waterhouses named Ben, has been a part of the family since April.
The decision to raise a dog was not one of much thought, as their experience with another golden retriever, a puppy that they raised to become a leader dog for the blind, was a pleasant one.
It was also an experience that caused some pain, as they could only keep the dog for a short time before it was ready for training.
So when their puppy counselor, who gave them Toby and has experience with leader dogs, told them about a stray dog someone brought to her house, the Waterhouses eagerly accepted Ben.
Even though it has been easier to train Ben than the previous dog, it's an experience that Bruce describes as "worse than raising a baby," as Ben is still learning such commands as how to sit, stay and heel.
Although it has taken months to train him properly, the Waterhouses are grateful for Ben and what he brings into their lives.
But raising a dog is not the only activity that keeps the couple busy. The Waterhouses just returned from a week-long West Carribbean cruise in which they spent their time visiting four ports and observing coral and fish from the inside of a submarine -- a cruise that required them to send Ben to a kennel.
Although he does not have specific plans for how to spend his time since retiring, it will likely been time well-deserved and well-appreciated.
After retiring from National Standard in 1990 after working as a chemist for 31 years, Bruce, 77, remained on the utilities and social services boards, also serving as a secretary and a chairman within those boards.
During his 17 years on the utilities board, he advised the Niles City Council on electrical, sewer and water problems and expenses, and he helped suggest programs for the needy during his 12 years with the Family Independence Agency.
While he said he will miss knowing what is happening in the city and the people associated with both boards, he is ready for retirement and enjoying the golden retriever who carries shoes around the house, chases squirrels around the backyard and tries to eat black walnuts.