Sunday, May 17, 2015


We have returned and we are all walking on Cloud 9. However, there are few words right now as I try to grasp the impact of what just happened to all of our lives. There is something magnetic, sacred, protected in letting go after you have raised a puppy. Some things you can share because the words come easily. Other things are too raw and not very explainable, and my fellow Puppy Raisers will understand.

The depth that you just completed something totally incredible, something beyond self, for an experience that changed your life so profoundly - those are the emotions that can't be written easily or explained adequately. It is simply one of the best feelings ever felt. 

So I will start at the ending point and work backwards in the upcoming days and weeks to complete this chapter of Kolby's Puppy Raising. 

The photos need no explanation. The set-up is a time line of the moment when we lovingly and proudly handed Kolby's leash to his Forever. A beautiful match. We are very blessed and grateful. 
It is clear there is a connection and deep love in this exceptional team. I cherish these photos, and I am so happy that our friend grabbed our camera and got up close to the stage to capture this incredible moment. Friday was amazing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

final match

Kolby did it!!
Kolby flew confident and solo in college, and proved to be made of the very best characteristics that fit perfectly for his Forever Person.

I returned home from work to a husband that worked from home - and one who had instructions to not touch the house phone, even if a 707-call came in, because I had a streak going of getting the call on my answering machine or in person.

My sweet husband assured me that the phone had not rung all day, and so I went about my business getting laundry done and other household items. I was about ready to walk out the door at 1:55 to pick up my son from school when the phone rang with our final match answer from area code 707.

Our puppy program manager shared the good news that Kolby "had made a final and official match". I was beaming. The Puppy Raising road had come to an end, the long awaited moment had finally reached our household, we are finally California Bound to meet Kolby's Person and to see Kolby again.

I immediately shared the news with my husband, and sent the text messages that my kids had requested - and then I just reflected on the moment for 90-minutes being silent from others. Thinking about the journey of Puppy Raising, of Kolby, of California, specific news about our Graduate ... it was peaceful. And I so appreciated that I felt that urge to just remain quite. To soak it in.

I am one thankful, blessed, and proud Puppy Raiser. Kolby joined our family, changed each of us, and has found his way to helping one very special woman. He will leave Campus this weekend and walk confidently into his new home, new city, new environment, representing Canine Companions as a Service Dog.

Kolby loves Karen.

And I am so happy.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Answer

After nine months in college ...
Yesterday was the day we had planned to hear the phone ring from area code 707 with Pre-Match phone calls. Usually the calls are placed in the morning, so I was expecting after a very busy morning at work where time cruised that I would come home to find my voice mail light blinking. But I did not.

Then time then stood still from 12:20 to 2:45.  My Canine Companions family was amazing, I had text messages coming in from all over the country asking "have you heard yet?" because, like me, we all expected a phone call by Noon.

It continued, I had time to leave the house to get my son from school, and still no call. I had even called our Puppy Program Manager at 2:30p but only received a ringing phone into voice mail. I didn't leave a message, but as I was reaching for the phone to call his Assistant, my phone rang at 2:45. I got to see the area code 707 that I had been waiting for (I had always been away when previous pre-match calls about Kolby had come to the house).

After extra hours of waiting for that call, I will admit that I went through the sheer excitement phase to sinking really deep that bad news was coming our way. My heart was pounding when I heard our Puppy Program Manager announce that Kolby had made a pre-match. And it was nice that he knew this had been a long wait with multiple "bad news" calls of no matches on previous calls ... because he was very happy sounding and slowed his words like a drum roll. He made it everything that it needed to be.

So - now we wait until the next call that says Kolby's match is a forever fit. That should come anytime between now and Monday, but I won't be sitting by the phone waiting. Now I can relax and enjoy every moment of this next week. I know the time will fly so fast and I want to be sure to soak in every moment of gathering our Graduate's Gift, packing, and heading out of town.

KOLBY - we are so proud of you. Everyone in your puppy family is beaming and celebrating that you have found your person. We pray you are happy and in love with the excitement of your new adventure. Keep working hard, be yourself, and we will see you soon.