Tonight we got an email that brought varied reactions and emotions from the family. I found that I was not as happy as I thought I would be when I got this news. Joey is NOT going to be a breeder. We were mentally preparing for the disappointment of losing the chance to be a guide, but the joy of bringing him home. So, now we are accepting the disappointment of Joey NOT coming home, and the joy of him being that much closer to his ultimate goal. Fortunately, the joy outweighs the sorrow.
This Saturday, I will be leading some Cub Scouts families to the campus for puppy hugging and dog walking. Southeastern Guide Dogs differs from other guide dog schools by allowing the general public to come in and play with young puppies that are not yet ready to go home with raisers. This helps to socialize the pups and give them more confidence. You can also walk some of the dogs that are in training, to give them a little break from the kennel with somebody new at the end of the leash. I can't have any contact with Joey while he is at the school, so I need to avoid the training kennel and the dog walking areas while I am there. Of course, if any of my scouting families happens to get lucky by walking Joey, they will know that they have to give him a special hug from me.