"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" Dr. Seuss.
The day picked Dave up from Southeastern was so exciting... getting a puppy is always a happy day. It seems like yesterday our sweet Dave could fit in our arms.
|Todd, Diona, Meagan (holding Dave at 9 weeks old), Collin and Kaitlyn the day we picked up Dave from Southeastern Guide Dogs|
|Meagan holding a 18.8 pound Dave-Man|
|Dave and Collin starting their special bond|
|Kaitlyn's first of many kisses for Dave|
|Our little man in front of a bush of bright and cheerful yellow flowers|
|Dave in his orange and brown sweater|
|Meagan holding Dave's head while Dave looks up at Meagan with adoring eyes|
|Ellie's sponsors holding Dave with Freeport, their golden retriever sitting nicely in front of them... Dave's paws almost never touched the ground that afternoon!|
|Meagan and Dave in the pool!|
|Evan playing with Dave... the rubber stick toy was the most favorite between the two of them!|
|Kathy, Dave Kelly's wife, giving Dave some lovin' during a visit|
|Meagan Dave on our friends' dock... Dave is getting so big!|
|Full grown Dave giving trainer Karen some loving licks|
|Our big boy at the beach!|
|Meagan and Dave riding the elevator at the mall|
January 14th was pretty emotional. But we made it through and Dave did amazing! Dad, Kaitlyn and I were the only ones that went... mom was sick with a yucky cold and Collin wanted to stay home. The new "Guide Dog U" program is pretty neat. I must admit, I really wasn't keen on the idea. I like to drop the dog off, and cry, sob, blubber on my way home. But this new program made it special. And too, it was neat being able to meet and talk to the other raisers who raised your puppy's kennel mates.
|Dave's coat, leash, puppy collar and choker collar hanging on it's hook in my room|
|Our last family picture together.|
|Collin and Dave said goodbye to each other|
|Dave saying his goodbyes to mom|
|Dave with his big 'ole head in my lap on the car ride to the school|
|Dave's goofy face... he's not sure what's going on.|
|Southeastern Guide Dogs sign|
|Southeastern Guide Dog's welcome to Freshman Orientation sign|
|Dave and Meagan in front of Southeastern Guide Dogs stone|
|Dave and Meagan with Dave's welcome sign... it has Dave's name and baby picture on it.|
|For some reason, the trainers tend to look like vultures on IFT days :)... 5 trainers standing in a half circle almost unable to contain their excitement to meet their next string of dogs!|
|Switching the leashes|
|Off Dave goes... such a good boy!|
|Dad holding a yellow lab puppy... I tried to get dad to hide it in his jacket, but the puppy was too squirmy!|
|Meagan and a black puppy and a yellow puppy in her arms... puppies are amazing therapy!|
|Meagan holding a black and tan puppy... I think we need one of these next!|
|a momma with her puppies in the whelping box... these pups don't even have their eyes open!|
|Dad doing his first blindfold walk... the dog's name is Dakota|
|Meagan doing a blindfold walk with trainer Karen and guide Charlie|
|Meagan getting pinned with the volunteer service award|
|Meagan and Dave's trainer!|
Dave, we love you. Use your smarts. Be a gentleman. Respect your elders. Walk nicely on the leash. Eat your carrots (good for eye sight ya know). Don't be too rough. Don't party too much.
But most of all, do your best. It's up to you now little man. Make your momma (both me and your birth mother :) proud!