You know that feeling you get when an event is coming and you’re equal parts excited (like happy-dance-every-time-you-think-about-it excited) and overwhelmed or anxious?
That’s where I’m at right now.
Two days from now is Puppy Day. It’s been on my calendar all month. All the necessary steps started to be taken months ago. Puppy Day seemed so surreal, like some far off thing in the distance that might never actually get here.
Yet here it is….almost.
Let’s back up a little, shall we? This isn’t just any puppy. This is a female English yellow lab named Granger that’s been bred and born at Freedom Guide Dogs in Cassville, NY. She has been born with a purpose, although she doesn’t know it yet. She will become someone’s eyes – their guide through the basic life functions we all take for granted: crossing the street, opening a door, walking up and down stairs. She has a long way to go before she’s ready for that.
That’s where I come in. For about a year, with the help of my roommates, I will be raising Granger to be a well behaved dog, a model citizen, if you will. Then, when Freedom Guide Dogs is ready for her, I’ll drop her off as she takes one more step closer to fulfilling her purpose. I will probably never see her again.
I know what you’re thinking because I’ve heard it from other people way too many times to count. “Oh, I could NEVER do that. Don’t you get attached?!” The answer is yes. Yes, I do get attached. My family has raised puppies for Freedom Guide Dogs for many years, and we loved each and every one of them like it was part of our family.
But here’s the thing. It’s not about me. If it was about me, I wouldn’t be doing this.
(Although it does make good logical sense for me right now – it’s not a long term commitment and I can’t afford the cost of having a dog on my own. Thankfully Freedom is an amazing foundation that also covers vet bills, and most vets give discounts for service dogs.)
But it’s not about me. This is about giving someone their life back. Will it be hard to raise her, and eventually give her up? Absolutely. But like I’ve told many students I’ve had the privilege of investing in, if it was easy it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
So join me on this adventure, as I post pictures, updates, anecdotes, venting sessions, and videos. Maybe this will connect some fellow puppy raisers. Maybe this will expose many more people to Freedom Guide Dogs. Maybe no one will ever read it and it’ll just be an excuse for me to write about this part of my life – this exciting, scary, overwhelming, totally worth it part called “Granger”. Who knows.
I do know one thing. This is going to be an awfully big adventure.