Sunday, July 21, 2013

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Coach Goes Wild: IFT in a LIMO, with Girls and a Mud Puddle!

Yesterday we took a limo ride.  Generally, you think of limos for happy events, like weddings and, well, parties, so, taking a limo ride to go to the IFT day at Southeastern Guide Dogs seems like torture.  What are you celebrating?  Your tears?

Actually, it is rather nice.  You get to go in a group, which is comforting and helps prevent major sobbing (in my case!) and it also promotes the telling of funny stories on the way down to Southeastern.  So you relive those happy moments that you had with your pup.

Did I also mention that you don't have to drive?  Strong emotions and driving are two things the generally should be avoided. The pups were great.  They acted liked they rode in limos all the time.  In fact, I think limos should be added to the list of exposures.  They actually had a tie down in them, but perhaps that is used for other things...I digress.

Ed is coming out of the limo with Bo on a leash.

Too soon, too soon, we were at Southeastern and piling out of the limo.  It was almost as bad as a clown car with all the people and dogs that kept coming out.

All six of us in front of the limo with our dogs seated in front of us.
We did take a nice shot in front of the limo of the group and the black labs looked very elegant.  I think Coach was pumped because he arrived in a limo full of lady dogs! Woot!

Coach's sign with his baby photo.

Then it was time to find his sign with his baby photo.

Photo of Coach only a few days ago.

Photo of Bopeeper's sign.

Photo of Bo with her coat and harness on from a meeting.

Maggie's sign.
Photo of Maggie from IFT.
Bo, Coach and Maggie had all grown from cute little pups to grown adult dogs in the space of 15-16 months.  They were ready for college, for training, for some more structure in their lives. Were we ready to give them up?

Photo of Fred and Cheryl with trainer Jen J. and Coach.
One of the reasons why we are able to give up our dogs, notwithstanding the mission of the school and the main purpose of raising, is the training staff.  Over the years as we have raised puppies we have gotten to know the trainers and they have gotten to know us.  In trainer Jen's case we took her obedience class 3 consecutive times for 1 puppy! (Bingo!).  You get to know that they care deeply for our puppies, just as much as we do.  And that they will take excellent care of our babies.

Then it was time to wait until your dog's name was called, do the long walk up to the trainer, and do the leash exchange.

Melisa kissing Bo goodbye.

Cheryl telling trainer Judy thank you for taking Coach.

Katie and Jeff getting Maggie  ready to go with trainer Judy.

And after all the tears and all the goodbyes, it is only the salve of puppy breath and kisses that can make things better.

Puppies playing.  The one in the back is especially happy and bouncy.

And so they let us go to puppy hugging and let out the hounds for us to love on.

For this raiser, just a moment to rest her head against a puppy's brings peace.
Some were looking for peace.  Some were looking for joy.

Another raiser finding her joy.

Perhaps this will be our puppy.
It's the right age and Fred looks happy with him.

Ed and Melisa smile as a puppy licks Melisa's face.
And as we were finding our smiles and our joy again, Coach, Bo and Maggie were being taken back to the kennels.  We were told that Maggie is in a kennel with 4 other girls and is having a great time.  Bo and Coach are roommates and he and Bo also have two other female roommates as well.  We were told that they are all getting along really well.  In fact, there is a mud puddle and they have taken the opportunity to "get acquainted" with it.

I'm thinking college might be more fun than our house was!

We will miss you big guy!  Be good, do good.


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  2. Even those cute little pups look overwhelmed with their ride in the limo! I bet they felt like royalty! Haha! Well, I think they really deserved to be treated like royalty, especially since they finally finished training school. The event was really heartwarming!

    Grady Mann @ Downtown Yellow Taxi in Saint Petersburg