Our boy made it. He graduated. It was a given, he's a genius afterall. Well, not really. He's cute. He's clumsy. But genius isn't really the word that comes to mind when I think "Talos."
Graduation is a big day for the family that raised the graduating dog. It's the day when it all becomes officially official. Talos has been with Kathy since last February, but Graduation makes it so. It's a mere formality, but it's an important formality.
It's emotional. It's funny. It's ridiculously important to us puppy-raisers.
The puppy raisers speak at Graduation. We get to say whatever we want as long as it's 5 minutes or less. When I still had Talos and thought about what I'd say at Graduation, only tears would come forward. Big, fat, salty and warm. And they were a little hard to turn off. So I just quit thinking about it. I'd figure it out as the date got closer, I told myself.
The date was here before I knew it. I hadn't thought of a single word to say. How do you sum up 15 months of love, laughter, teaching, and heartbreak in five minutes? How do you convey the amount of love you poured into "your" puppy? How every day was planned around him? How even thinking about him leaving was painful?
You don't. Because that's not the focus of Graduation. The focus is on the NOW. The bond between "your" dog (who isn't really yours anymore, and hasn't been yours for almost a year) and his new person. How much their lives are intertwined.
All I was worried about was getting through the 5 minutes without crying. I winged it. I didn't have one word written down. It wasn't the most articulate speech, but I got through it. And Talos shined bright up there on the stage with Kathy.