A Birth Announcement

It’s been a very bittersweet 24 hours. At this time yesterday, I was pulling into our driveway with our sweet new arrival.

Say hello to Alfredo, our 5th puppy from Guide Dogs for the Blind. He follows Keebler, Urvek, Scooby, and Connie.

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And, in our home, he joins Pacific, a career-changed black Lab from Guide Dogs for the Blind. We share Pacific with another puppy raiser and, though he decided he didn’t want to be a guide dog, he is a fabulous mentor pup and our hope is, he’ll be a fabulous therapy dog one day soon.

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Alfredo is spunky and curious and confident. And, he turned 2 months old today.

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So, of course he is teething. But, he’s sure cute.

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Like all the puppies we have both raised and puppy-sat, he knows it, too. Not one has been wrong. They really are all cute, and they all capture our hearts at hello.
Because, how could they not?

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Especially with that little stripe of fur that runs up his nose and creates the letter Y on his forehead.

Yesterday was quite bittersweet.

As my car pulled into place, the reality I had been working so hard to deny came crashing through the thin veil I had used to protect it; just as I opened my heart to welcome our new sweet boy, I could no longer deny the final minutes of time with our sweet, sweet wiggle-butt, Connie, were quickly ticking away. We’d spent the last 17 months together, growing and learning. And, in just over 12 hours, I would drive her north to meet up with the “puppy truck” so she could begin her trip back to the GDB Oregon campus.

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I walked in the door and Connie, in her customary way, wiggled her little bum so hard and fast, I expected her to whip her face with her tail. I reached down to greet her and, just like that, my heart shattered, the dam broke, and tears began streaming down my face. Someday soon, I will share the story of our Connie-girl, but not today. Today, it is all just too raw.

As sweet as the hellos are, the goodbyes really are gut-wrenching. We know that going in. It’s part of the contract, so to speak. Still, and through all the sleepless nights and endless hours of training and heart-shattering goodbyes, it is worth it all, knowing that our small sacrifice might someday change a life.

In many ways, raising a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind is a lot like parenting children. As we do with children, our job is always to give them roots and wings, or, as I always tag my puppy photos, to #loveandrelease.

#NaBloPoMo2017

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