Friday, May 18, 2007

Graduation Night

On Thursday night, Belle and I attended the Helping Paws graduation. Seven dogs and their new partners proudly received their certificates. Each new human partner gave a thanksgiving speech - an awe-inspiring tradition that had me wishing every person who has asked the question, "how can you give up your dog" could hear and be a part of.

The speeches were eloquent, funny, poignant and sincere. The thread that ran through each was gratitude and hope. They shared their training stories, they shared their fears, and like any graduation, the room was filled with family and friends to share their joy of the future as they start a new chapter of their lives with their dogs.

Miles, Cedar, Chloe, Rusty, Juni, Journey and Cosmo were matched with their new partners through a combination of tangible and intangible criteria. Their placement depended on the client's needs, the dog's strengths and finally, the magical connection created when the dog and the human first meet. After only three weeks together, the bond between them is already set, but like concrete will strengthen with time.

Like any graduates, their paths will now diverge. One is off to college, one is off to become a care-facility dog (the first ever for a Helping Paws graduate), but regardless of where they go, they will all be that which their human partner needs the most. With their canine love and companionship acting as the whip cream and cherry on top of their sundae of service.

Congratulations, graduates. May your futures be full of life and love and joy.

No comments: