This is why we raise service pups. The tears and heartbreak at turn-in seem to disappear when you see "your" dog with his new person. Oh, I still miss him. I always will. But the sense of accomplishment seems to be a balm for the sharpest pain.
I was very pleased when I heard that a match had been made. It means Talos is almost done with all the training and ready to go out and make a life-changing difference in someone's life. This is what it's all about.
His partner is a great gal and she's watched Talos progress from a wee baby into the handsome gentleman he is today. She's known for quite some time that Talos could potentially be hers – and she's sent him gifts in the mail, supported me through the terrible turn-in, and will be a terrific partner for a terrific dog.
Generally, the match between dog and person is done first on paper. The service dog organization identifies the dog (or dogs) that have the skills to match the applicant. A match on paper, however, is only the first step. There's got to be a personality match. The dog and the person have to have chemistry. Without that chemistry, the perfect dog and the perfect person might make an awful team.
I wasn't there when Big T got to meet his match, but I heard it was quite impressive. There was chemistry. I do, however, have a little bit of video of the two of them together (compliments of T's new partner). (See below.) The official transfer from Service Dogs of Virginia to the new partner will begin in late January. It will take about two weeks of long, hard days for the two of them to learn how to work together, how to become a team, how to trust one another.
I'm a proud mama. The first time I saw the video, I burst into tears. Big T is going on to do good things. Great things! Go, T, go!
Click here to watch the video full screen on Smart Dog U's YouTube channel.