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Sunday, September 23, 2012

That day came

The knowledge that one day my puppy must return to Leader Dogs for the Blind parks itself in the back of my head like a migraine that teases but doesn't quite grab hold. I know it is there, it doesn't bother me (much), but it keeps me from moving too quickly.

That good-by-migraine caused me to savor every moment I had this year with FLD Scout.

Ah, to deeply inhale her sweet puppy-breath, even as I headed out to the darkness in the wee morning hours so she could pee.

To delight in her problem-solving skills (How can I get her to stop sitting in front of her computer?), even as I stooped to pick up my shoe from between her front paws, without making eye contact. and returning it to the foyer for the umpteenth time.

To hear her clacking teeth when she Lab-wrestled with Gus, even when I insisted she settle on her mat while Andy and I ate dinner.

To feel the slackness in her leash while she was "working," even though we I struggled with her propensity to dive-bomb anything that looked like food on restaurant floors.

To see her nudge a little boy who was afraid of water, even as we worked through her fear of second-graders.

To taste the bittersweet goodbye, even if what we've been striving for all along has brought us to this next step. And then the long wait for her to become a Leader Dog.

September 18, 2012.
FLD Scout is on her way...

One last tussle with cc'd Rosie, aka "Rosie Dosie." (Rosie, don't you look at me like that! I know you'll miss her, but don't give her any ideas.)

FLD Scout gives Natalie a snuggle...

...and gets a belly-rub from Sofia!

Andy gives Scout a pet in the kennel lobby at Leader Dogs for the Blind. She looks like she's wondering what all the fuss is about!
FLD Scout looks over her shoulder at me. "It's okay, I've been here before!"

During intake, Scout checks out the box of dog toys. She approaches it from all angles, trying to figure out how to reach the Nylabones inside.
Finally, she takes a leap...
...and emerges with a prized possession! We wondered, was this a problem-solving test?
All that mattered to Scout was her new toy.

Scout looks ready, yes?