We got word this past weekend that Maggie was returning to SSD from the Guide Dog Foundation. The comments were that “she tested to be too self motivated and had some toy possessiveness”…I am not sure how all of that is defined or what that means, but I DO know, that whatever the behaviors demonstrated, she was not suitable for a Guide Dog.
Well, Monday was a real roller coaster of emotions all over again. I dropped off dear Marcia…she is soooo gentle, and picked up a very excited Maggie. I was glad to see Marcia warm so quickly to Kelsey (her trainer) and be so relaxed in a new environment. As a bonus, Kelsey said she would be taking Marcia to her home each night “to get to know her better”. That means Marcia will have it pretty cushy, at least for this week. Marcia will probably adapt pretty well to kennel life based on her weekend with a “sitter”. Her sitter had another service dog in training and they played together really well! I will report next weekend on how Marcia did in her first week of “big dog” Advanced Training.
Maggie just about turned inside out with excitement when she saw me. She has been reunited with us for two days now, and honestly, I can hardly stand the thought of another separation with her. However, that may happen if the CIA or ATF want to try her out in their program. We are awaiting a response from them. We (and she) will live through this…we want her to do what makes her happiest…and ultimately, she will tell us this through her actions and behaviors. No one said this was going to easy, but to be honest, they didn’t tell us how hard it would be either.
It helps to blog about these steps and adventures…it makes me feel YOU (the readers) are with us, and share in our feeling and struggles. Thanks for your interest in following us! You should know that I am regularly in touch with Marcia’s former raiser at Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB), and, yes, she is on the emotions roller coaster, too. In fact, my guess is all puppy raisers go through this to some degree, no matter the face they put on!
In summary, let us not forget why we do this; it is to help others…whether the disabled, the blind or law enforcement…through helping these puppies learn skills that only they can perform! When we keep our focus on that, we are re-energized, and the sting of separation is eased. Hang in there with us…these are real lives these puppies have the potential to change (or protect in the case of law enforcement) forever!