Raising guide dog pups is an emotional roller coaster. They come into your life and your heart for a brief span of time and then before you know it they are moving on to bigger and better things. Our year with Electra was a challenging whirlwind. I loved this dog, but it was not a sure-footed steady love. It was kind of an up and down sort of thing. I didn’t realize how deeply that love had taken root in my heart until this past weekend when I had to turn her leash over to someone else. I’m crying still as I write this. Was she ready? Had I done enough for her? Had I given her enough of my heart to expand her world? She certainly gave me her heart. She trusted me to keep it safe. To carry it gently. What does she think now?
It was certainly a year of learning. For Electra it meant learning how NOT to be a puppy. A hard thing indeed!!! She spent some long, sometimes difficult hours and hours learning to control her impulses, to be a polite young lady instead of a wild one. She put her heart into the effort. She loves training and learning. I wish that I could have given her even more! For us humans, our year was about learning patience and finding the good in all things. Learning to take little steps, to celebrate the small achievements. And every day is a brand new day full of all kinds of possibilites. We learned to celebrate! And it expanded our hearts.
Letting go is another learning experience. How do you celebrate the unknown future? You look at the known past and celebrate the memories and the possibilities buried in those remembered successes. For Electra, I’m not sure. Did we give her enough of our hearts to carry her through this chapter of her life? Enough of our love to keep her until that next person, who needs her love more than we do, wraps their heart around her? I hope so.
I believe in my heart that she is ready for this next chapter. I believe in my heart that her mission in life will be a good one. She is so full of love and possibility, I see nothing but celebrations ahead for her. You go, girl!
I love you Electra!
Saying good-byes –
On to Florida!!
College life begins —