You might imagine that I was pretty disappointed when I heard that various factors were going to keep TBG and SWMBO from being able to attend my graduation. I mean, I know they were upset about it too, but I'm the one who's earned the blue cape and I really wanted to share that with them.
Well, I guess TBG and SWMBO talked to CCI and the powers-that-be said that if they wanted, they could come the Saturday before graduation and CCI would arrange a few minutes with me and an introduction to my new handler. I guess TBG and SWMBO really love me and wanted to see me and check out my peeps because TBG boarded a plane on Friday and headed out here. Sadly, SWMBO was unable to come because of another work commitment (I never understood that as a young pup, but now that I'm a working dog, I get that you just can't shirk your responsibilities to others).
TBG made one stop before coming to see me, though. He went and had breakfast at Elijah's place and got to meet Hobart! You'll remember Elijah--he raised Dembre, who was one of my kennel-mates for a time, and is now working as a successful service dog too!
SO! I got to see TBG today! Not only that, but TBG brought with him my favoritest toy of all times--the infamous red ball! This favorite toy tradition was started by Jeb's puppy raiser. Only, I guess Jeb loved a honking possum (some people might call it a hedgehog, but don't say that around SWMBO. It's a possum in her mind. You know how she can be...anywho!)
Not only THAT, but I was able to introduce TBG to my forever people! And, not only THAT, but my forever people invited TBG to their home to spend time with them and me. Goodness sakes, humans can talk, you know it? We give a bark or two and we're worn out, but these three kept on for about 3.5 HOURS! Ah, I admit, it was fun, actually, to hear TBG tell all of those Jeb stories AGAIN, and to chuckle at some of my, ah, challenges as a young pup. I also really liked learning stuff about my forever people, and why they wanted me and how they see me helping around my new home and workplace. I also really liked showing off all of my advanced commands with my forever person, working as a team. I could tell TBG was impressed!
I've got some pictures below, but just in case you were wondering...YES, TBG and SWMBO have several people lined up to take pictures at graduation. They'll get posted here too. And in case you were wondering...YES, TBG and SWMBO have a very special person lined up to turn my leash over to my forever people during the graduation ceremony. NO, I'm not going to tell you now! You'll just have to wait and see!
Elijah, TBG, and Hobart
I am at the Center, sporting a BLUE CAPE!
Me and My TBG
I am at my new digs with my forever peeps and TBG (note the red ball!)
As all of our readers can appreciate, the news about Ansel's match has engendered much emotion, and brought us swiftly back to the guy who started it all. I thought it might be fun to share a picture or two of Jeb's puppy-raiser with Ansel's owners. I mean, it did all start with HER.
Against my better judgement (and the very direct admonition by TBG that this was NOT a good idea), I headed down to the basement to root around in the photo albums to find what I wanted. "I'll just grab a few pictures and come back upstairs," I said to TBG. "I PROMISE I won't run amok in sentimentality, bittersweetness, and reminiscence."
Ah...best laid plans and all that.
I won't bore you with those sloppy details, but in the midst of it all, I came across a photo that gave me paws (oh! I do so slay myself). Not just because it reaches back in time to showcase Jeb and one of his best pals (Sailboat-Vacation-Guy), but because it has convinced me that Ansel and Jeb must have some shared relative in the CCI family tree somewhere. Take a look and see if I'm right!