Sunday, April 11, 2010
Well, he did it!!! Gerrit graduated!!! He graduated as a Skilled Companion, which is a dog that enhances independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities. Skilled Companion Dogs are trained to work with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator. In Gerrit's case, he was placed with an 18 year old boy and the boy's parents are the facilitators.
I didn't get to go to the graduation, but my pal told me all about when she got home. She said that it was the most wonderful day ever (besides getting me back, of course ;-)!
When she first arrived at CCI, she got to meet and have lunch with Gerrit's new family. She said that as soon as she met them, she knew that they were the perfect family for Gerrit!
After lunch, she got to see Gerrit again. The little clown was so happy when he saw her, that he actually knocked her right off her feet! That must have been so funny! My pal got to spend an hour with Gerrit prior to the graduation ceremony. She said his tail never stopped wagging during that whole hour.
The most emotional part of the day for my pal was the graduation ceremony, when she presented Gerrit to his new family. She said that while she had to wipe away a few tears, she was so incredibly happy and proud of Gerrit. She could tell that Gerrit had already bonded with "his boy" and she knew that the future was going to be filled with fun and happy times for the two of them.
Gerrit - We love you little buddy! You made us all so proud!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
My job this week has been to be there for my pal. She's had lots of tears in her eyes this week. So, whenever I saw her getting a little choked up, I ran over and put my head right under hand. Without even thinking, she would then begin to stoke my head. As she did this, I could feel the tension in her hand release. And, when I gazed up at her, she smiled. That's when I knew that I was doing my job well.
The week started with her returning to work after being on maternity leave for over four months. She misses baby boy. And, she misses me and Lucky. We all miss her a ton too. The days just aren't the same without her constantly here with us. But, as hard as it has been on all of us, it almost makes evenings that much more special. We really cherish the time we all have together. Evenings are filled with lots of hugs, laughs, and belly rubs (for me!).
To make this week even more emotional for my pal, on Monday she heard from CCI that our little clown, Gerrit, is in fact graduating this Friday!!! He will be graduating as a Skilled Companion!!! On Friday, my pal will get to go to CCI to see Gerrit again and present him to his graduate (his person) at the graduation ceremony! My pal is sooooo happy and proud of Gerrit. But, because I know my pal so well, I also know that there is a part of her that is sad. While she always wanted Gerrit to graduate, she always sort of thought he would come home some day... like I did. Call it a dog's intuition, but I knew he was never coming home. I knew that even though Gerrit was a little goofy, he had what it took to graduate. I am so happy and proud of my little buddy!
So, this is why I have been working extra hard this week. My pal's eyes has had lots of tears. Tears for missing baby boy. Tears for missing me and Lucky. Tears of joy at the thought of Gerrit graduating... and, tears of sadness at the thought too. I'm glad that I am here for my pal. Right here where I belong.