I'm on trade this week! I'm staying with a girl named Kylie who is a first time raiser in our club. She's really enjoying having me since I'm so close to the end of my training and a welcome break from her 9 month-old puppy, Kayla. I'm just having fun getting to meet even more new people! Kylie has been taking me to high school and it's a very active life.
My puppy raiser Kate and I have been really close since we found out that I'm going back. This last month of my training is shaping up to be a very special time for us. We do a lot of cuddling and loving these days and Kate has been sharing stories with me of the five dogs that she's raised in the past. Did you know that all of them are working guides? All of the talk is making me even more excited to go back to campus! While this is a fun experience for me, Kate told me about just how much this organization means to her. Here's what she had to say:
"These past few months have confirmed how much a person can get out of an experience such as this. The feeling that you get when you are able to help someone else, while helping yourself in the process, is beyond explanation. I don't know that I'll ever truly be able to express what Guide Dogs means to me and what the organization has done for me. GDB came into my life at a time that I most needed it five years ago, even though I didn't know it at the time. Through all of my medical adventures, and times of not knowing what life would bring day to day, I had at least one constant: a dog. Every morning, no matter how terrible I was feeling, there would be a wriggling ball of fur just waiting for me to wake up. Not because they wanted to ask how I was feeling and not because they needed to take me to another doctor's appointment. They simply wanted me. And even in in my days of not knowing where my life was going or when I would be able to really start living it again, I knew that puppy needed me. And not just that puppy, but, in extension, a person needed me. After the first graduation that I attended all those years ago, I couldn't believe that I was actually a part of what the working team had become. Bob and Yamaha were soul mates and you could tell by just looking at them. To think that I was even a small part of that beauty and freedom still makes me swell with pride. I don't know where I would be now if it wasn't for Guide Dogs coming into my life when it did. But I do know this: This organization is magical. And not just for the blind that get partnered with a guide."
I know full well that becoming a guide isn't for every dog. Kate has told me that if I get to school and don't want to do it, I will not have to. She's assured me that no matter how my formal training goes, she is very, very proud of me. The best part is that she has assured me that even if I come back to her house to live as a pet, I have helped at least one person's life be better - hers. Through all the emotion of the last weeks, I'm ready to keep on going until I just can't go anymore. I'm bursting full with all the love that has been given to me in my raiser home and I can't wait to go on to share it.
Momma Christine's Response:
This is an absolutely lovely note and makes me cry with delight in your shared vision and in the beautiful way you express it in words. I hope other people will be able to resonate with you as well after they read your dear words. Very very sweet.
I am so proud of you, and I hope I will see you at your graduation, if that is in your future. Take care and enjoy these last weeks together.