Welcome to Puppies and Life! This blog is about my life as a teenage puppy raiser...enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy IWYPRS Day!

International Wear Your Puppy Raising Shirt Day was a great success judging by the 50 confirmed guests on Facebook and the number of posts that have gone up! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts and proudly wearing my shirt around today. It was very interesting testing where to put the camera and running back while it was on timer in order to actually get pictures of the shirt, but it was tons of fun.

We begin the day with some last minute reviewing (read: cramming) for my Canadian Lit midterm...very exciting life of a student.I think I did fairly well on the exam, so after lunch it was back to the computer to send out resumes for summer jobs. (Don't mind my laundry rack in the back, I just did a load of laundry last night and have yet to complete my least favourite part of the process- folding and putting away the clothes)

Nothing really eventful happened today, so I want to take this opportunity to announce something I am VERY excited about! On April 26, Sam, my friend Katie and I will be in Rochester, NY to see the touring production of RENT!!!!!!! It features my loves original Broadway cast members Adam Pascal (the green dude) and Anthony Rapp (in blue). I am so beyond excited for this, I don't even have words to express it. As anyone who knows me knows, I just love this musical and the messages it espouses- no day but today, and accepting everyone for who they are. Absolutely cannot WAIT!I ended the day as I have for the past couple of days- Sam, being my hero, sent me her copy of "Without You- A Memoir of Love, Loss and the Musical RENT", Anthony Rapp's memoir. Seeing as how it wasn't to be found anywhere in Toronto and Halifax, I've pretty much been on a reading rampage since I got it. Thanks a billion Sam! Hopefully we can get it signed at the stage door in Rochester!My shirt ended its day in the emptyish hamper after an exciting day of being out on the town. I love IWYPRSD and can't wait to do it again next year!!!

On another note, I'm leaving tomorrow for Biloxi, Mississippi with my school's chapter of Habitat for Humanity. We're going to a build site where some of the houses have not been touched since Hurricane Katrina hit- we'll literally be the first ones to be inside after the families evacuated. I am so excited to be a part of this trip, and hope to help make a real difference in some peoples' lives. I'll be back next Sunday with lots of stories and pictures!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Because I Knew You, I Have Been Changed...For Good

Today is the one year anniversary of Fielder's graduation as a Hearing Ear Dog. I cannot believe a year has passed since that day I flew home for one of the best days of my life. Seeing one of my baby boys graduate while surrounded by my best friends was unbelievable. The whole ceremony felt like an out of body experience, and I'm so glad I was able to make it back and to have a short reunion with my little Fieldypoo.

As this day approached this year, I started reminiscing about the past few years and the impact puppy raising has had on me. I think I knew this all along, but for some reason in the past week, it really hit me how much I've changed and grown as a person because of it. I can't even begin to fathom all of the lessons my boys have taught me- lots of practical things like public speaking, obedience training, and to always have poop bags on puppy outings, but also life lessons that I never want to forget- how to be patient, how to be understanding, to put yourself in one's shoes before you judge, to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, and most of all (cliched and sappy as it is)- how to really and truly love- to put so much of yourself into something that it hurts like crazy to let go, but you do it anyways because it's the right thing to do.

Along the way, I have met so many amazing people- the POOP group,the best support group of puppy raisers and friends I could ask for, handlers and trainers and random people I never would've met otherwise. One thing's for sure, these puppies bring out the best in people. I've enjoyed hearing many stories from strangers that come up and share a part of their lives with me just because of the puppy in the green jacket. And of course, blogging. When I started my silly little Puppies and Life blog two years ago, I never in a million years would've imagined "meeting" and becoming friends with so many fantastic people. If you told me a couple years ago that I would have some of the best conversations and funniest moments with people across the continent in another country, I probably would've laughed in your face. But through this blog and the amazingness that is Amber's blog roll, I have been lucky enough to have done just that.

Lastly, (but definitely not least), I have to mention Sam, Amy and Amy. All I have to say is Wow. I wanted to be involved with the program because I would get to train puppies and change people's lives but I had no idea what I was getting into when I attended that infamous orientation in which I supposedly "met" Sam. They've been there for me through thick and thin and guys, I want to say a big Thank You for sticking by me through puppies, DQ's, graduations and "normal" life drama. Sleepovers, train rides, long commutes to each other's towns, huge long MSN conversations, puppy outings, being the only teenagers in the group, and of course, Eatons are some of the best memories of my life. Here's to many more years of Samysnat.

I didn't mean for this post to turn into a sappy thank you post, but now that it's written I feel like it's appropriate considering how much puppy raising has changed my life- I wish I had the words to convey how much all of this actually means to me, but I can't. It's been one of the most, if not the most defining journeys of my life thus far. I think this slide show helps since after all, a picture's worth a thousand words. These are two of my favourite songs and their lyrics remind me of puppy raising so much. The first song is For Good from the Wicked soundtrack (sung by the amazing Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth) and the second is Seasons of Love from the movie soundtrack of Rent. Enjoy!

To my boys Petey and Fielder- you are everything I could've asked for and more. I love you both so much and I'm so glad you came into my life, even if it was only for too short a time. This one's for you.

"It well may be /That we will never meet again /In this lifetime, so let me say before we part/So much of me /Is made of what I learned from you /You'll be with me/ Like a handprint on my heart. /And now whatever way our stories end /I know you have rewritten mine/ By being my friend"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Update on IWYPRSD

It appears we have picked a fantastic day for our first International Wear Your Puppy Shirt Day- President Obama will be making his first official trip to Canada that day!
It makes me happy that that fits in with our theme of international friendship quite perfectly!

I am so very excited to see all the stories and pictures from IWYPRSD (or alternately, I Wipers Day because that's what it looks like).

International Wear Your Puppy Shirt Day

The first ever International 'Wear Your Puppy Raising Shirt' Day will be held February 19th, 2009. Please spread the word - we hope to have as many puppy raisers (and other supporters of working dogs) participating as possible.

To participate, all you have to do is wear a shirt from any Guide/Service dog school during the day of February 19th. If you don't already have a shirt - make your own! We'd love to see what you can come up with. :)

Optionally, we would love for participants to email a picture of themselves in their shirt (if desired you can crop off your head to protect your privacy) to puppyraisingshirtday@gmail.com. Also, blogging puppy raisers are encouraged to share about their shirt's day on their blog if desired.

Most importantly of all, remember that International 'Wear Your Puppy Raising Shirt' Day is a day to celebrate puppy raising and friendship. Wear your shirt with pride! We are looking forward to sharing this special day with all of you.

For more information, please check our the IWYPRSD website (in progress). We also have a Facebook event page you can sign up on.

Also, as Sam and I are huge fans of Kraft Dinner, the consumption of KD is strongly recommended as well ;)