I’m Back!!

25 08 2008

We made it back safe and sound. It was an emotionally and physically exhausting week. There were a lot of tears going through old photos and listening to stories about my baby sister at the memorial service. But there were plenty of fun times too. Lots of laughter and play time with the kids. After the official memorial services we had a party in honor of Shannon at my parent’s. Drinks, food and a live blue grass band made for a good time, but the best was dancing to *NSYNC at the end of the night. I feel I must say that I don’t own a *NSYNC album, but it’s what Shannon would have wanted to listen to, so it was very appropriate that night. Eleanor especially enjoyed dancing with all the girls. Man, can that girl shake her little 15 month old hips!

One of the funnest parts of the week was meeting Digger. The photo above is him all dressed in his “work” outfit. My parents have only had him for a few weeks. He’s half retriever, half lab and all softness. Well, except for those razor sharp puppy teeth. I cannot wait until he grinds those down a bit. If all goes well, Digger will become a Canine Companion for someone with a disability of some nature. My parents decided to do this in memory of Shannon, who loved her canine companion, Ken. Ken passed away a little over a year ago now but he meant the world to Shannon. Giving her a higher confidence level and that complete love only a dog can give.

Ken was always a bit like Eeyore, sluggish and sweet. Digger is full of energy and mischief. Just as a puppy should be. After a couple weeks of cleaning up piddle puddles though, my parent’s are not sure if they like having him around. But I know the truth. I know they’re happy to have someone to care for again. They’ll have Digger for about 18 months, when he’ll go into intensive training and then hopefully on to a new owner. There’s about a 50% success rate with dogs trained for this purpose. Meaning half don’t make the cut. This is one of those double edge swords. While Digger not making the cut would mean the family could keep the cute little guy, the whole purpose is, of course, for him to succeed. Which means leaving us. Best not to think about it too much.

The organization encourages the puppy raisers to let other family members take the puppy for periods of time. I can’t wait until it’s our turn. On the other hand, I’m happy to wait until he’s potty trained.

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8 responses

25 08 2008
painted fish studio

welcome back. your week sounds happy and sad, difficult and rewarding.

and digger. what a cute pup. the last few weeks have been for the dogs! i just spent an evening with a 12 week old pup, and a co-worker just adopted a 9 week old lab (rescue). while they are so cute, i don’t miss that constant need for attention and high energy! i applaud your parents and wish them the best with digger and his puppiness. :)

26 08 2008
Di

I am glad that your week went well, tears and laughter…..

The puppy is so cute and a great way to honour your sister’s memory! I too want to take him home and cuddle him!

26 08 2008
Anna Y

Welcome home and glad the week went well for you and yours.

Got everything crossable crossed for Digger so he can become a companion dog. Potty training dogs is not fun…. But taking care of a potty trained enthusiastic puppy is fun. :D I bet the kids will love having him.

26 08 2008
Kristen

Sounds like your sister would have enjoyed her party. That puppy is a cutey!

26 08 2008
jenn

So sweet. Welcome back. You’re family is doing an amazing thing raising Digger. Hard to let go, but knowing you’re helping someone is amazing.

26 08 2008
kathryn

Welcome home! Glad to know you’re back in the hood. Digger is a love and it sounds like sweet memories were shared and cherished. Hope we can connect soon. :)

26 08 2008
Jenny @ a latte talk

Welcome back, it was lonely around here this weekend! As difficult as the memorial must have been, what a blessing to be able to celebrate her life. I am so sorry for your pain.

And, um… What a great looking puppy! I am NOT going to show this post to Corene, she will surely beg for a Digger, too… I am amazed at service dogs and how incredibly trained they are, I always wondered how that worked.

1 09 2008
smoothpebble

What a tribute to Shannon! To help someone else with the canine companion program. And one could overlook the piddles with a face like that – sweet.

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