My Clara B,
What a round the world journey you have had the past 21 months. It all started being loved and nurtured at your first home in Spain, ultimately bringing you thousands of miles to Hero Dogs. To say I am thankful that you made your way to our organization and that I was asked to raise you is an understatement. It was a very easy “yes” when asked to raise you, and I was thankful to have you to lean (and cry) on as I had taken Hero Dogs Ruby back the same night I brought you home.
You have grown so much in the time I had you, from a tiny little polar bear pup to a sweet, attentive, confident, funny, easy going, observant, gentle, patient, momma’s girl. While you may have developed a case of “mommyitis”, it only speaks to the tight knit bond we created and continue to have even while you are in advanced training. No matter what your future holds, service dog or other placement, you will make your “person” extremely happy.
The time comes when as a raiser you feel as though you have taught commands, tasks, and provided your dog with many socialization experiences that will make them successful. We pour an overwhelming numbers of hours into raising our pups but in the end, it always feels worth it. Saying goodbye never gets easy, but I feel very proud of the dog you have grown into. Plus I know it’s always a “see you later”.
My nugget, you are the perfect mix of attentive and focused on working, but always up for a day of relaxation, or an adventure. I miss having you by my side for new experiences, attending graduate school, volunteering for Hero Dogs events, going for daily walks, checking out new trails, and training together. It takes some adjustment to not having you around for the little things, such as watching me cook, get ready for the school day, to curl up with at night watching TV, and even having you pop your head past the shower curtain just to “make sure” I am still in there.
You might not be described as a dog who “lives to work”, or as busy as a certain black lab we know and love, but I like to say you “work to please”. Over our 17 months together you have learned everything from your basics in Puppy Kindergarten to learning how to push handicap buttons, open doors, how to take stairs one step at a time, how to pick up dropped keys, a wallet or phone. You have learned how to remain calm and focused in so many different environments. You have learned wonderful manners, how to open the fridge and cabinets, how to heel like a pro, to settle through long classes, movies, at restaurants, and events. You greet dogs, adults, and kids with a tail wag and an occasional face lick. You have flown on airplanes like they are no big deal, even shown other service dogs what a proper service dog should look like, and whose owners compliment your wonderful behavior and focus on me. We got to experience how much I love Colorado together and navigated cities and towns with ease. We visited the lake, the beach, the mountains, and cities together through the past year and a half.
Kennel life might not be your favorite, but you’ve got your favorite black lab, Hero Dogs Ruby, to show you the ropes of advanced training. You are a special pup my Claire Claire, and I have been lucky enough to be your person! Keep working hard my nugget!
on airplanes like they are no big deal, even shown other service dogs what a proper service dog should look like, and whose owners compliment your wonderful behavior and focus on me. We got to experience how much I love Colorado together and navigated cities and towns with ease. We visited the lake, the beach, the mountains, and cities together through the past year and a half.