LO and I returned late last night from a quick trip to Texas. The purpose of the trip was to attend the service puppy's graduation and to meet his handler. We made it into a road trip across the state since I found cheap tickets in and out of San Antonio. So we drove 4+ hours each way with a few pit stops. We saw a lot of Texas in three days, including some cowboys, some longhorns up close, a rodeo, and The Alamo.
About the puppy, he was one of 16 graduates in his class - some of his classmates will be skilled companion dogs to severely disabled people, while others will be assistance dogs and a few others will work in facilities. His new job will be to comfort child abuse victims as they deal with the legal system in rural Texas. His new handler is a very sweet young woman (she attended the graduation with her Mom) who works with these victims. During his off time, puppy will be living on a farm with the woman and her husband, along with another dog, some cows, horses and some chickens. I know the puppy will love his new life.
Before and after the ceremony, a number of people at the center approached LO to tell us how much they loved the puppy and how much of a good job LO did with him. As one said to LO, "He is just the happiest dog!" Apparently, he was known as the life of the party during his time in training and he even had a girlfriend, a sweet black lab.
LO and the puppy did get to spend a few minutes together before the ceremony. The puppy was so happy to see her. When she first held his leash, he looked up to her with an expression of "Yay! Are we going together now?" It was hard not to cry when I witnessed that. His tail did not stop wagging and he looked contented. During the ceremony, when LO and the new handler were onstage for the official leash handoff, the puppy could barely contain himself. He had two of his favorite people right there.
Suffice it to say, I'm very proud of the puppy and LO. What an accomplishment!
Driving across Texas and seeing some new things provided some head-clearing time for me. The weather was hot, but clear and the driving gave me time to think. The landscape was pretty and the roads were mostly smooth but fast (yes, I did get to drive at 85). I know I need good, strong, positive change in life. I really have enjoyed the travel I've done this summer, but even more so, I think I've enjoyed putting myself in new situations.
I've obviously been restless for a while, and the other week when it was my birthday I reviewed my bucket list. First off, I was surprised about the things I have accomplished the last time I looked at it (maybe a few years ago). But this time, I updated the list and wrote down a few other things I want. Why not?
That is all.
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