It seems Maggie has a sixth sense about when she is going to Advanced Training. This morning I got up at 5:45, fed Maggie, then I sat down to spend sometime in devotions. Maggie usually goes back to her crate to resume her beauty sleep, but this morning she jumped up on my lap, curled up and went to sleep…she just couldn’t get close enough. When we finally got in the car to go to the kennel (where she goes for training), she generally curls up and goes to sleep; but today, she watched out the window the whole way (45 minutes). I could tell she was very nervous, and when I left her in the kennel, she cocked her head, jumped up on the gate as if to say, “Hey, you’re not leaving me here, are you?” Emotionally this is very hard. Why am I telling you this? I guess because it is an important part of what we as puppy raisers all go through…we ALL go through this! It is part of OUR training. We all have emotions with which we have to deal. My guess is that Maggie wonders for a bit where I went, but soon is enthralled with how much fun it is to be with other dogs, and soon after that, she will be involved in some pretty intensive training. Labs love anyone who will “treat” and feed them. Honestly, that is their chief motivation, and for the time being, I will become a distant memory. Will she be happy to see me on Friday? You bet (and the feeling will be mutual)! This will all become routine over the next 7-8 months, and eventually she will transfer her affections to a client who needs her. I believe she will always remember me (and Sue), but her focus and primary affections will someday be with her new life partner – just as it should be. We are in this for the long haul, and we must keep the goal in mind…that makes it all worth the emotions in this moment in time.