Our Patrick Has Qualified!
Getting the email from SA Guide-Dogs, that your puppy’s training is complete, and that he will be going “on class” to meet and then train with his new owner is a happy-sad time for a puppy raiser…
And yesterday was the day all puppy raisers look forward to.
We got to see our Patrick show off his months of formal Guide Dog training with his new partner, by walking down a public street in Parkview, in his Guide Dog harness – navigating stop streets, a traffic circle, pedestrians, open shop doors, other Guide Dogs doing the same walk, and restaurant tables on a sidewalk. All whilst we were dead quiet and staying out of sight as much as possible on the opposite side of the street.
It was so wonderful. 😛
Unfortunately, our car broke down on the way to GDA for the cake and tea meet-n-greet with Patrick and his new owner, so I was on my own while my poor Glugster stayed with our immobile car waiting for a tow. 😦
Patrick is his new owner-partner’s third Guide Dog, and our super snuggly Patrick is very happy with his new owner, eagerly looking to him for praise when he completes an instruction.
He’s a really nice guy, and Patrick was very happy to see me, and when my husband got a working car he came to pick me up at GDA and got to meet him too.
We were given a framed portrait of Patrick- wearing his harness and posing with his new partner- to hang on our wall at home, alongside the portraits of Volt and Lennox (unfortunately we don’t have these kinds of portraits of Kenzo, Rhody, or Wendel).
It was such an incredible experience and I didn’t cry all afternoon – but the more I look at the pictures and the more I think of what our boy has achieved the bigger the lump in my throat gets!
- We are so very proud of him.
I have these “charms” on my handbag- a hook with keepsakes on it – a little pink diving fin from my son, and the name tags from our kitties who have gone over the rainbow bridge. I also have the name tags from our Guide Dog puppies who have graduated, and when I got the call that Patrick was going “on class” I added his tag.
Currently we are raising Guide-Dog-puppy Nimble, and in a few months she will be returned to GDA as a one-year-old pup, and then we’ll start all over again!