Monday, July 23, 2007

How Can I Give Up My Dog? Part II

Several weeks ago, I published one of my all time favorite pictures to answer the question posed above. It was a picture of Jake and Miles, recent Helping Paws graduates, sent to me by Jake to accompany his story that will be included in the 2007 Helping Paws Annual Report to be published this fall.

Fox 9 News did a special on Jake and Miles that was aired last night. The video included interviews with Helping Paws staff, Miles' foster parents - Tara and Brek, as well as Jake and his mom. When asked the "give up" question, Brek said it all when he said that Miles had a higher calling.

I first fully understood this "higher calling" when Belle was scheduled for her dysplasia exam at eight months old. If a dog is found to have dysplasia, it is retired from the training program and given a career change. Foster homes are given the first choice to keep the pup they've been training. When Belle first came home with me, and I fell in love with her, I knew right away that selfishly, for me, I wouldn't mind if she became my forever dog. I didn't really think about what that would mean for her.

As the date of Belle's exam neared however, I found myself anxious - not that she would pass, but that she wouldn't. I feared that Belle would not get to be the incredible dog we were training her to be - and the thought of that happening hurt far more than the thought that some day she would move on. It was then I knew that I am truly just her foster mom, and that somewhere out there is a lucky person for whom she will be their forever friend and helpmate. I will miss her, I will always love her, but I will be so proud of what she is doing. And hopefully, some day, I will be given another opportunity to train a Helping Paws dog for someone else. For me, there is no greater reward.

1 comment:

Sara Latta said...

Oh, man, Lu, you made me cry! (I watched the news special on Jake and Miles.)