Well, it's official. Honeydew goes "off to college" (recalled to Guide Dogs for formal training) on July 12. Today Honeydew and I are headed over to Bend so that she can give kisses and say farewell to all of her family in Bend, especially her 'grandma'.
We will drop her off around 10AM on the 12th. They give you a lot of time to say goodbye, and even let you help get her new kennel set up, hangout with her in the new kennel, meet the staff that will be taking care of her, etc. It is nice that they try to make it a positive experience, rather than just dropping her off at a door.
While I am certainly sad to be giving her back - I am also terribly excited for Honeydew. This is going to be such a fun adventure for her. She is a very busy dog - always interested in new people, places and experiences. So, going into the kennels with other pups (geesh, her head is going to explode she will be so excited) and learning new skills will be very fulfilling for her.
That same weekend (July 11) 3 dogs from our puppy club that have made it through the program and are now matched/training with their new blind partners will be graduating! We will definitely attend the graduation - not only because we know the dogs and want to support their raisers, but because it will be great reinforcement that giving Honeydew back the next day is worth it. Nothing more inspiring that seeing a blind person head off into the world with their new guide dog. Absolutely, positively, worth the sacrifice on my part.
Thought I would include some of Honeydew's baby pics...so amazing to remember how little and wiggly she used to be!