Denver - November 29, 2012
I'm finding that there are all kinds of really amazing stories in the world of Canine Companions. Seriously, somebody should write a book. Hmmm, maybe I'll do that.
At any rate, Marianne recently told the following story to me, and it has so many coincidences that it's actually a magical fairy tale, so that's how I'm gonna tell it to you.
Once Upon A Time…there was a boy named Samuel who lived in the Kingdom of New Hampshire with his parents Betsy and Dan and his brother Isaiah. Dan, a photojournalist, made a wonderful film called "Including Samuel." According to the website www.includingsamuel.com, "Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, photojournalist Dan Habib rarely thought about the inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day. Shot and produced over four years, Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families."
Meanwhile, Samuel's Aunt Lori lived in a Realm far to the west called Denver. Lori was a Grand Hair Stylist of some renown. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, the Tooth Fairy, even Rapunzel asked for Lori's services. A lesser-known Fairy Dogmother named Marianne also used Lori's services. Marianne was a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence and always brought her current puppy in training when she visited Lori. The pups were a little afraid they'd end up with blue streaks or Mohawks, but Lori promised them she'd never do that.
Over time, Lori made friends with puppies Hudson, Parker, Ross and Mars and rooted for each one to graduate. While Parker and Mars decided that they preferred being Change of Career dogs and left the Canine Companions community for new adventures, Hudson graduated as a Service Dog and Ross was selected as a Breeder Boy. Huzzah!
Coincidentally, the Habib family applied for a Canine Companions dog for Samuel. Time passed. Whenever the Fairy Dogmother would ask Lori if Samuel had been matched with a dog, the answer was always, "Not yet."
Meantime, Breeder Boy Ross had a *Date* with a Breeder Girl named Madison. On September 27, 2010 Madison gave birth to Peter VI, Proton, Plato III, Peaches, Pele' II, and Poet. At eight weeks the puppies went to their puppy raisers in Washington (Peter), Maryland (Proton), Georgia (Plato), California (Pele' and Poet) and Florida (Peaches). In May 2012 the puppies were turned in for professional training on Canine Companions regional campuses in the Shires of Oceanside, Santa Rosa, Orlando and Long Island.
And Lo, It Came to Pass in November 2012 that Samuel and his parents were invited to Team Training on the Northeast campus in the Shire of Long Island (at the same time that Wicked Hurricane Sandy hit the Shire, but that's a story for another time.) Samuel was matched with a lovely yellow dog named (are you ready?) PROTON!
Yea, verily, the sire of Samuel's dog Proton, aka Mr. P, raised by puppy raisers Jane and Clark in Maryland, is Ross, raised by the Fairy Dogmother in Denver, client of Samuel's Aunt Lori. Coincidence? I think not.
Samuel was so happy about Proton that he wrote a book, which you can read here: http://tarheelreader.org/2012/11/18/my-skilled-companion-dog/ (click on "Read this book" in the lower right hand corner.)
And They All Lived Happily Ever After.
Who says Fairy Tales don't come true?
CHOW FOR NOW!