Monday, February 14, 2011

Reflections on the Future

I attended CCI's February Team Training Graduation ceremony. It was the largest graduation that North Central has ever had... and it was amazing. I got to watch friends walk up to the stage with tears in their eyes and hand 18 months of their hard work over to a new life and new handler. There were tears in my eyes as I watched puppy raiser after puppy raiser walk up onto the stage to be honored for raising a puppy. I never realized how it really was. People have told me about graduations, but no words can truly tell the beauty of watching the human-dog bond put into action.

I was surprised at how excited the dogs were when the got handed from puppy raiser to recipient. I guess CCI matches the teams well. I was thrilled to see the puppy raisers interactions with the recipients. Somehow to see the tears of joy in the eyes of the puppy raisers that had waited for graduation day for months and the excitement and thankfulness of the recipient went right to my heart. After seeing that, the thoughts of turn-in and losing the dog I'm raising have been forgotten and the thoughts of getting to hand Dembre over to a different handler and to see them start their new life together makes it more than worth it.

Turn-in was different than I had thought before. Somehow it seems easier to walk up to the stage with all the other puppy raisers and receive a rose. For every puppy raiser turn-in is a big deal so you really don't need to make it a bigger one. CCI didn't. They honored each and every puppy raiser with a matriculating dog, but didn't request them to do any more than walk up and receive a flower. That's good enough for me, because I know during the ceremony I'll be crying to hard to talk. Turn-in will come and I look forward to seeing Dembre enter a new chapter of his life and also look forward to getting another puppy and starting a new chapter of my own life.

prepare to be amazed

Suzanne talking (sign translator sitting out front)

Talking about the history of CCI

puppy raisers walking up to receive a flower for raising a matriculating dog

introducing the teams

a video on service teams and team work

a young girl receiving her Skilled Companion

A girl receiving her Skilled Companion 

1 comment:

  1. I hope you guys have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
    Love the pictures, graduation is always a tearful/happy day :)

    Rudy's Raiser

    P.S. We are doing a Valentine's Giveaway; over at our blog... we'd love for you to enter!


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