Many shared while consoling me in August when Haddie did not pre-match, that her Forever Person just wasn't ready yet. That something needed to transpire before they could show up on campus. I believed it.
However, as time passed I found that I was the one needing to grow. I was the one that needed something to happen before I was ready to send Haddie off to her Forever Person.
While I find myself occasionally thinking about the road trip to California, it is not all consuming. I find it to be a healthy balance. And in that I have found peace and the understanding that the giving of Haddie is really not about me. It is not about my puppy and all the memories that were made together. It is not about my feelings for that perfect home.
As a Puppy Raiser, I am not doing this for my benefit, I am doing this for another person's Independence. And sometimes that was lost when I was in the mix of puppy raising and having fun watching Haddie grow, and during all the times when the focus was on us; weekly classes, outings, and even during Turn-In and months after with Puppy Reports arriving to tell us about our puppy.
I would like to say that I could point my finger at one occurrence that changed my view and emotions. But I can not. It was truly that something that everyone had shared that needed to happen. Only that something was within me, perhaps not with her Forever Person.
Beyond all understanding, it is really about them. It is about the Team created by the loving outreach of Canine Companions. While I raised the puppy, the story begins now, and what a story it will be and how proud I will always be of Haddie.
It is with great joy that I announce that HADDIE, our first puppy in program, has made a Pre-Match this week. At 10:21 am, as I was carrying my phone from room to room, it happened to ring (loudly) just as I entered my family room. Seeing area code-707, I sat down on my big comfy chair in the room where Haddie first learned to play, sit, roll, and every command she checked off the Puppy Report while under our care. The Puppy Program Manager shared that Haddie had found a Pre-Match and that Canine Companions would be evaluating the team during the week, and that he would call me no later than next Wednesday morning with a final answer.
The Pre-Match Candidate is a woman who needs a Service Dog.
(the one leading the pack and about ready to knock over the photographer in the above photo; she is ready to Go! Godspeed, Haddie).