Caspian was back with his raisers. I stopped calling the Leader Dogs for the Blind to see if they had a puppy for me. I got on with my life, happy to delay any decision about becoming a puppy-raiser.
On a Friday in August, 2008, I dragged myself home after a particularly long day of field work for Invisible Fence. Andy greeted me with a hug, "Leaders Dogs called and left a message. They have a puppy ready for you."
Oh boy. Now I was faced with a decision and I had the weekend to stew about it.
Me, to myself: I don't want to commit to this.
Myself, to me: You idiot! How can you agree to be a puppy-raiser and then back out at the last minute?!
Andy did not want to be part of my decision, but when I pressed him he admitted, "I guess I really don't want a second dog. But I'll support whatever you decide to do."
Yikes. Another nice mess.
On Sunday I attended a United Church of Christ service where my younger brother, Jim, was "guest preaching." In a mid-life career-change, he was studying at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary to get his Master's Degree in Divinity. Something in Jim's sermon caused me to consider that there really was no other choice for me--I must become a puppy-raiser. I don't remember his exact words; I'm sure it had to do with our responsibilities to use our skills in the service of others. This quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe came to mind: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
On Monday, first thing, I called the Leader Dogs for the Blind. You have a puppy for me? "Yes, a female black lab." Great! When can I pick her up?