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"