I remember watching our friends from across the church pews with their highly relaxed pup in a CCI vest by their side and thinking, "It would be so cool to be part of that." I think it was almost eighteen months later until our family was on board and ready for the commitment.
We are nearing our final chapter as first time Puppy Raisers. My sister-in-law asked me on Sunday if I was ready to let Haddie go. With a firm tone and security in my voice I replied that I was ready - that I was looking forward to the adventure, that we would see her again regardless, that it was going to be a good trip. I believed it when I said it.
Then, then .... our friend and President of our Chapter sent me a detailed document about Turn In today via email. I printed it for our face to face meeting tonight which we were having with another family; who will also be turning in their first pup.
I sat reading the document on my couch, Haddie by my side, and I lost it. Home alone, thank goodness, and I picked up my phone and texted my sister-in-law. I had lied. This was going to be tough, and no, I was not ready to return Haddie.
As we sat in the small, old fashioned cafe down the street from our CCI meetings this evening with our friend and the other family, I realized how thankful I am to have myself and my family surrounded by such good. people. that have gone before us and who are so willing to support us.
I think one summed it up well tonight after the meeting, we are family. There is a bond and understanding that no other person can support as keenly as a fellow puppy raiser. We are giving our heart to another person. We are giving love. We are giving an incredible act of selflessness that can not be truly understood unless you have walked in our shoes.
And that is not to sound boastful. It is to grasp that this is much bigger than us. This task of Puppy Raising for CCI is an honor. When asked "How can you give the puppy back?", you can easily become speechless because their are such few words that will really explain the answer until you have lived it.
And even I have yet to live it - but I understand it, and I will get it on February 15th, and again at the time of her placement.
So, thank you to all of our friends who have gone before us in this adventure, who take the time to share and support, and who really understand what it is like to give meaning to this volunteer role called Puppy Raising.
Thank you. Thank you.