Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Last Day - Graduation!

Introducing from left to right: Kate from Your Neighbourhood Credit
Union - the Sponsors of Pina; Linda and Pina; David and Helen - Pina's Foster Parents for the first year of her life

It has been a long and emotional day! We did the circuit of skills commands this morning, followed by three talks: one from Alex Ivic explaining the contents of our graduation packets that we would be receiving in the evening, one from Julie ?, who is in charge of Fundraising, speaking to us about the Purina DogGuides Walks, and the final one from Melissa who is the Media Contact person. Then it was bath time for the dogs so that they would look nice for "grad"! After lunch, we were given permission for our first solo outings with our dogs off the premises without trainers!!!! Pina and I headed to Tim Horton's, and who should be there but Diane and Zeke, Chris, Alex, and Pesto! I returned to the residence to start packing, and then the dogs had their last "group play" at 4:00. Tony, the cook, had prepared a special graduation dinner of baked potatoes, roast beef, and carrots, followed by apple pie. There were actually table cloths on the tables, and the staff and trainers served us all. A very nice last supper.
The graduation ceremony was tri-lingual - English, French and Sign Language. Each group's lead trainer spoke, followed by a speaker or speakers representing each group of clients - HED, SRD and SSD, and the graduation packages were distributed. Then the emotional part - we met with the sponsors and foster parents of our dogs! The couple who raised Pina are from Waterloo, and the sponsor organization is also headquartered in the KW Area. It was an absolute fluke that Pina was matched with me - from Kitchener. I promised the Credit Union rep, and Pina's foster parents that I would happily be in touch with them as I continue my "Life With Pina". Although I had told her that I didn't need her to come, Lindsay did arrive for the festivities, and it truly was nice to have her here!
And so, dear blog, here endeth the first chapter. Chapter Two may continue, but not until I have made the transition back to my old life with my new dog, and taken care of some other pressing commitments. Good night.

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