Back in December, just one day after that month's Southeastern Guidedogs class started, I happened to see a Facebook entry that mentioned the name of one of the dogs that was matched in that class. (The student's wife did it.) That dog was from our puppy raiser group, and went in for training the same time Joey did. The names of the dogs in that class weren't officially released for another week, so I had to stay quiet about what I saw posted on-line for millions of people around the world to see. When the next class started, I started looking at Facebook pretty heavily, trying to see anything about which dogs were matched. I couldn't find anything.
This week, another class started and I again started searching Facebook for any news at all. We will be moving out of the area soon, and this class might be the last chance we have to see Joey again and meet his forever person. I even openned a Twitter account and started searching it to find any news. -----------Nothing. I guess Southeastern found the weak spot in in their information security and took measures to plug the leak. After a couple days, I accepted the fact that I will have to wait for the official news to be released. Yesterday morning, my area coordinator called and gave me the best news ever. Joey HAS been matched! I know that there is still a very small chance that the match will not work out, and he may have to be swapped out for another dog, but I am still very happy that we will get to close this chapter of our lives before moving to Canada. In a couple weeks, we will go to the campus and watch from a distance as Joey guides his new handler around the Freedom Walk. It will be hard to keep the kids from calling out to Joey, but he can't know we are there. It would be very distracting for him. After the walk, we will be able to meet the handler and greet Joey again.
Today we attended the Southeastern Guidedogs Walkathon and enjoyed seeing some old friends and meeting new ones. I met a few people and dogs that I have been following on-line through their blogs. I was suffering from a sore knee, so I didn't actually walk the 3K, but spent the time greeting other non-walkers and answering questions about Southeastern, particularly the one about how can we possibly give up these wonderful dogs when it is time to go in for training.
After the walkathon, it was time to head out to the school itself for Mick's ITF date. I haven't mentioned Mick much here, because this blog is Just About Joey. Mick is the pup we got 6 months ago, when he was already about 8 months old. The timing of Mick's IFT date and Joey's matching has put me in a rather rare circumstance of attending IFT and Puppy Raiser Day in the same month.
So, after a few months of very little posting, I should be back on-line in just two weeks, with the final chapter of Just About Joey.