Raising service dogs is good work if you can get it.
I mean, it’s tough work for sure — house training, teaching good manners, public outings that go awry, the list goes on. But I wouldn’t keep doing it if it weren’t loaded with good stuff, too.
One of the best things is seeing the dog I raised working with his new partner. (I originally typed “my dog,” but had to change it. It’s a little difficult to make that mental shift sometimes. He’s not really mine, of course, and I know that, but I quite often let myself forget that, just for a little while.) He’s all Tabitha’s — and she’ll be all his. It’s impossible not to fall head over heels for that boy, I can vouch for that. What a great team they’ll be!
Anyway, I’m all kinds of excited for Schooner.
He’s going to be a senior in high school this year!
Can you imagine that dog in a high school?! It makes me giggle just thinking about it. He’ll love it. They’ll love him. It’ll be one big lovefest.
I’m not saying the entire road will be easy. There will be moments for both Schooner and his new partner, Tabitha, that’ll make them both think “What am I doing?!” Fortunately, those moments pass quickly and are crowded out by the “How did I ever get along without you?” thoughts.
It’s quite a gift to have the opportunity to watch the partnership take place and I’m grateful to Tabitha and her family for allowing me be a little part of this.