I think we, as most puppy raisers do, put all of our eggs in Jam's basket, hoping that he would be our first dog to make it as a guide dog puppy. From all his reports and comments, he was an excellent dog, smart, good with his commands and very sweet to work with. Unfortunately, he was also plagued with a bit of separation anxiety and a persistent cough that made him honk like a goose (which was the trachea problem). Southeastern gave him their very best shot and their best effort and for that we thank them.
We are thankful that we have not filled up our house already with dogs (Bingo was aggressive, HRH Berkeley was not best friends with Willow) so that we can take Jam back with us as he has a special place in our hearts.
I am also very, very nervous at seeing him. It is a puppy raiser's dream to be remembered. I remember the first Guide Dog U when we took HRH Berkeley back and one of the graduates stood up to talk about her experience with her guide dog. As she walked up to the podium, her guide dog caught sight of her puppy raiser, who just happened to be in the audience returning another dog. The guide dog completely lost control and bolted to the puppy raiser in a paroxysm of joy. The crowd of puppy raisers, in unison, sucked in their breath with a collective "AH!" Each was thinking, "I hope that is me one day."
Jam may not have made it, but he is an amazing boy. All we care about is having our sweet boy back at home and giving him a happy healthy life.
And if he bolts towards us in a paroxysm of joy, my day will be complete.