Denver - April 24, 2013
The "Imagine Independence" event in Utah was AMAZING last week, even if Marianne did not win any of the silent auction items. I made her bid on a bunch of dog-related stuff (Giant fleece bones! Collars! Treats! Books! Jewelry!) but she was outbid on everything. Rats.
But never mind, because I had too much fun meeting puppy raisers and pups and grad teams! Not to brag or anything, but I was perfectly behaved on the plane and in the hotel, representing Canine Companions to the best of my abilities. After all, Barbara Barrow, the director of the Southwest Regional campus was there. I was disappointed that Marianne did not invite me on stage when she spoke; other people took THEIR dogs, after all. Marianne told me I would have been too distracting. Harumph.
I met a wonderful Skilled Companion team: Lucy, her dog Wilona (aka Willow) and Lucy's mom, Rachel. I wanted to climb into Lucy's lap but Marianne reminded me to mind my manners and pointed out how nicely Wilona was sitting by Lucy's side. Rats. I bet Lucy wouldn't have minded.
When we got home Marianne found a recent blog post that Rachel wrote (http://www.rachelcoleman.com/2013/04/22/covered-in-love/) about their experience getting Wilona. Here's an excerpt:
We tell Willow to JUMP up on Lucy’s bed. Lucy falls asleep with one hand on her dog. Lucy falls fast asleep and doesn’t ask us to “snuggle”. Our daughter hasn’t fallen asleep without her nightly snuggle for 12 years. To our amazement, Lucy sleeps through the night. Our daughter has not regularly slept through the night in her whole life!
And this paragraph is what made me vow to do my absolute best to graduate as a working dog:
Wilona has now been with us for eight months. The difference in our entire family is ridiculous. I never could have imagined that a dog would give us so much. I think back to those early interviews, our concerns and the question of what a dog could provide for Lucy, for us. Now I know why no one could answer that… it’s because there are no words to describe it.
Read the entire blog -- you'll need a box of tissues -- and once again the puppy raiser question "How can you give them up?" is most definitively answered.
Chow for now!
For more information on puppy raising, applying for a dog and Canine Compaions go to Http://www.cci.org.