June is here and with it comes new adventures in the life of Helaine and I. It is the beginning of our “finals” as we do some things for the last time before she returns to Canine Companions in August. I have been up and down with my emotions and they seem to change weekly. Some days I am so excited to see where this service dog life takes her, and other times I’m sad at the thought to returning her for her formal training. I know no matter what she does in this life, she is destined to be great at it. If all goes well, she will be set to potentially graduate in February of 2015. That seems so far away from now, but I know all too well that life with a CCI puppy flies faster than one could ever begin to imagine. It seems like just yesterday that I picked up my sweet yellow girl at Alaska Air Cargo in Seattle, and now we are making arrangements to travel to Santa Rosa, and hand over the leash so she can trot off in to the next stop in her journey. No words can fully and accurately describe this shift in the life of a puppy raiser, but bittersweet is used frequently and provides at least some insight as to what we feel.
With all of that said, the newest chapter of my puppy raising life will begin on June 27th, when I bring home my new puppy, Miss Inez III. I finally have a new assignment and I am over the moon excited for the next year and a half. My little squirt is 75% Labrador and 25% Golden Retriever and is yellow (my favorite color). The parents are Luray and Armani or Pixar, and I cannot wait to meet my new ball of fur! My housing situation has changed greatly since I brought Helaine home. When she arrived I was only living about 20 minutes away from my work, and I could go home on my lunch and breaks to relieve and feed her lunch. However, I have since moved and now live 45 minutes (on a good day) away from where I work. I have decided after much debate and many tears, that in order for me to continue raising I would need to seek out the assistance of my chapter. I have found a lovely family who will start my little gal, and I will take over after I return Helaine. This family has raised several puppies for Canine Companions and they are well equipped and willing to commit to just a couple months with a fur ball that will undoubtedly pee on their floor, eat everything and chew on things that are otherwise off limits. They are truly saints, and I am so thankful that they have willingly accepted this short term challenge. I truly would not be able to raise again so soon without them. They may never know just how thankful and appreciative I am of them!
Yes, June is here and with it come new adventures. New goodbyes, new hello’s, new chapters and new puppies. June is looking to be a very good month indeed.
The I litter at the milk bar. Momma Luray looks so sweet. Can’t wait to meet my new little!