Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day Twenty at Guide Dogs

Graduation day.

It's hard to put into words how I feel today, it's such a mix. Whe've already exchanges contact information to keep up with each other. My classmates are dealing with it in various ways. Some sequester themselves away in preparation...avoiding goodbyes. Some busy themselves with imagined duties to take their minds off farewell. I use my standby device...humor, to lighten the blow of "so long".

Even the dogs are aware of the change. Burgess sat up, looking at the suitcase and then at me, with a worried expression as if to say, "what's happening?? Where are you going??" I explained to him that this was not our home and we were going on a happy trip where he'd be taken care of, even better than he is here. Once I packed the dog food, he had no problem with it.

The rest of the day will be what you might call the doggie red carpet. Dogs and students will be groomed to the teeth and on display for visitors as exemplary proof of what the organization can do. One may speak a few words at the ceremony, or's a personal choice...and one I'm stuggling with.

You see...I may break down.


  1. Hi Darryl! Emily here. I was thrilled to read all about the adventures of Burgess in training with you. Each post filled me with pride, and solidified what I already knew: that the two of you are a perfect pair. Thank you for writing the blog, I loved every word. I know we will be in touch. Hope the big guy is doing well in his new home! ~Emily, his puppy raiser back in Nevada

  2. Hello Darryl! I really enjoyed reading your blog, but will admit I needed a box of kleenex while doing so. Someone forwarded it to me this morning...I am Tiki's puppy raiser. In addition to being moved by your description of everything you and Burgess accomplished together, I want to thank you for the "inside scoop" on Tiki's life while in training. She's home with me now. Apparently she decided she was up there long enough without going home with someone, and decided it was time to come home to mom. I never thought I'd be disappointed to get a dog that I loved so much back, but I'll admit I was a little sad when they called. I'd seen her working in harness with a trainer in San Francisco last December, and after that was positive she'd be somebody's partner and not coming home. I was actually excited to look forward to meeting her new person and hearing about their adventures. Of course the sadness left the minute I saw her in the kennels and she jumped back into my arms. We're letting her settle in and just be a dog for a while, and then we're looking into doing some type of therapy work together. Thank you for sharing your story...I'll be sure to check back to see what adventures you and Burgess are doing next. Stacie

  3. Oh, and Tiki sends big wags and kisses to her buddy, Burgess. When I picked her up I heard all about their little romance....Stacie & Tiki