There has been some silence on the blog, as it’s been hard keeping up with every day tasks on top of preparing to turn in my sweet and precious Helaine next Friday. We have really started doing a lot more in preparation for her time in Advanced Training, as well as savoring some “lasts” around the area. It has been a really bitter-sweet couple of weeks, as I know that my girl is so ready to move on with her training. I keep trying to hold her back, but I know that she is destined to do great things and I need to let her do those things.
A couple of weeks back, we spent the day in Seattle on the waterfront. We began our day at the Seattle Aquarium, which is one of my very favorite places to visit. I may be 25 years old, but two things will always excite me: The Woodland Park Zoo, and the Seattle Aquarium. I had taken my past puppies here before and I knew how beneficial of an outing it could be. Thankfully it didn’t take much convincing to get my buddy Elle, her sweet kiddos H and J and their PIP Kolby to come along for the adventure. Outings with them are so sweet and time flies so quickly. I have been so fortunate to share this puppy raising journey with them!
We stood in line for just a few minutes and waiting to purchase our tickets. No one at the front counter noticed Kolby, but they noticed Helaine right away and asked for a quick explanation. I told them she was in training and we are working on socialization today. The gal didn’t seem that interested and quickly dismissed us to serve the next guest. We received many quick glances and stares as we roamed the building, from guests and employees alike. There were also several drive-by petters, but my favorite were the people who had some genuine questions. Elle and I agreed that this was the most we’ve ever been approached on any outing we’ve ever been on. It was definitely a change of pace for us.
We found ourselves standing in front of the River Otter exhibit watching them frolic, when suddenly all of them were at the glass, incredibly interested in seeing our pups. Kolby and Helaine looked at them for a moment, but quickly settled in and decided they weren’t all that interesting. For as long as we were in front the glass, the otters stayed close by. They would swim out and turn around to come right back. It was quite possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen.
As we meandered in and out of different exhibits, both inside and outside, we chatted casually about life, puppy raising, new adventures, new puppies, and more. I realized that we had to pay very little attention to the furry four-leggeds we had with us. They were very calm, weaving through and dodging people as they made their way around us. There were few corrections, and even fewer attempts to have them re-focus. It was on this outing that we realized…our tiny little puppies Canine Companions entrusted us with, are ready to move forward and potentially change a life. No matter how hard letting them go will be, we have raised them to have confidence, obedience, and more love than any one creature should keep to themselves. We raised them for this greater purpose, and ready or not because here it comes!
There comes a time when raising puppies, where outings are no longer a challenge. The puppies just understand that they are there to work and focus, and they become easy. It is then that you have become one with your puppy, and they are so in-tune with you, they just follow your lead and you enjoy the day together. This is the point where we can stand back, hand over that leash, and admire them with confidence that they are indeed doing what they were born to do. Turn in is eight days away, and with that comes a new season of life for Helaine. She will be tested and ultimately it will be up to her whether or not she continues this course. It also brings a new season of life for me in the form of Inez. She will be in my care full time beginning Mid- September. Outings will become challenging again. What has become easy and boring for Helaine, will be brand new and totally exciting for Inez. My heart is forever changed by each puppy I have loved and let go…but I can tell you one thing, I am forever proud to be a puppy raiser.