to smile radiantly, joyfully.
Marianne and John were BEAMING when I got home on Sunday after a brief sojourn with my CCI friend Citrus and her puppy raisers, Linda and Dave. Not just smiling, BEAMING. I asked them for the full report on Graduation, which I'll share with you, dear reader.
Rocket's graduation was a day of wonder and joy and happiness. His partner, Kara, is another amazing Canine Companions match. At first Kara said she wasn't sure she "deserved" Rocket because he's so wonderful, but now she knows that they are the perfect pair. Like all grads, she confided to Marianne and John that she felt she got the BEST dog of all. *SIGH*
Rocket is her third Canine Companions Service Dog. Her first lived to be 13, and her second, Luke, who is retired, is 14! Rocket will be glad to have a pal at home to give him some tips and pointers, I'm sure.
I asked them to describe the day for me. Marianne said, "We met Kara and her two college-age kids at breakfast at the CCI campus. We talked non-stop over muffins and coffee about Team Training and he being matched with Rocket. The trainers showed a montage of photos from the puppy raisers with some new photos from Team Training. Some grads and puppy raisers gave little speeches (lots of Kleenex moments!). We gave Kara a little photo album of Rocket's puppy pictures, plus a copy of his DogBlog, and a copy of "Let the Dogs Speak!" Kara is writing a book about her life so she's very pleased to have a dog who knows how to write and can help her."
That Rocket! He's multi-talented. I'm sure that's why the trainers knew he'd be perfect for Kara.
John said, "I was amazed at how comfortable Rocket and Kara seemed as a team, after just ten days together. They seemed to already know each other and how to work together."
Marianne nodded. "Yes, we went out to lunch after graduation and Kara asked Rocket to pick up her empty paper cup and take it to the trash can. Even though the trash can was a different design with a strange lid that he'd not seen before, she and he worked together and he dropped it in like a champ!"
"What was it like when you saw Rocket again?" I wondered.
"After breakfast Kara and her family left campus for the facility where the graduation is held and we went to the training room to get Rocket. He was really happy to see us, lots of wagging and kisses!" Marianne said. "I could hardly get him to stay still for a photo!"
"But when we went to the facility you could tell he was looking far Kara," John said. "I think he was saying, 'You two are nice and all, but where's my Kara?""
Marianne laughed. "Yes, when we walked on stage and Rocket saw Kara, he practically wagged himself in two! And then he climbed on her lap and gave her a dozen kisses. It was very, very heartwarming. Handing over the leash was the BEST." She turned to John. "Tell him about Kara's car."
"What about her car? Is it a van like Randi's?" I asked.
"No, it's a brand-new Mustang! Rocket has a really cool ride to go with his super-cool person. He's One Happy Dude, that's for sure."
"Oh, and two Ross puppies graduated too!" Marianne exclaimed. "Marsha and Megan both graduated as Skilled Companions. We are so proud!"
Marianne and John beamed at each other again then looked at me. "Play your cards right, and you could make a Perfect Match yourself," Marianne advised me.
Hmmm. Kibble for thought.
Chow for now!