Pete is 8 weeks old. He will be living with us for the next year and a half. We will socialize him and start training him on working-dog skills for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I hope he will socialize us some, too.
When people have heard that we were becoming a foster family…for a dog (it was quite a process), most people’s reactions were somewhere near an incredulous “why!?” or “are you crazy?” I am going to assume that that sort of response had more to do with my dear friends knowing I am not a dog person than with their assessment of my competence. To be fair, I have nothing against dogs. I just prefer people to animals. Animals have such a hard time understanding their boundaries!
So this little endeavor is, for me, much less about the dog, and much more about the service. In fact, it was a search for a meaningful service that my kids could do that led me to this local group that fosters and teaches these puppies. It is important to me that my kids serve, but it is awfully hard to find something worthwhile someone will let them do (you know, child-labor laws being what they are). Yes, it will be hard for the kids to say goodbye. If you know me REALLY well, you already know I like to make my kids cry. Disappointment is good for them.
Of course we get lots out of this, too. We get a dog experience. That ends. Not in death. And a great community of support and dog-training mentoring. Lily gets a minion who will not resent her orders. P.J. gets a playmate. Amos gets to not be the baby. They all get the confidence of helping little Pete learn.