January 14th

"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!

Kaitlyn and Dad's final goodbyes

Switching the leashes

Off Dave goes... such a good boy!
After handing our dogs over to the trainers, we were sent to the puppy kennel. For some amazing loving of course! These were the smallest puppies I've ever hugged. They were six weeks old and super super sweet... makes it hard to walk away!

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!
After puppy hugging, we went back to the gazebo area and did a blind fold walk... it was my dad's first time!
Dad doing his first blindfold walk... the dog's name is Dakota

Meagan doing a blindfold walk with trainer Karen and guide Charlie
Once everyone was back from puppy hugging, the school did a volunteer service award pinning (the pin represents 500 hours of volunteer hours... but we all know, as someone stated at the ceremony,  the first 500 hours of raising a puppy is just in the first month!) and we listened to a visually impaired gentleman speak about his experience with his dog, Max. Everyone had tears in their eyes listening to how grateful he was for Max. In the 5 years the team has been together, Max and his person have traveled to Italy as well as all over the USA.
Meagan getting pinned with the volunteer service award 
When we were getting ready to leave, Meagan asked a trainer about where to put the dog food Dave had left over. She said she would take it and followed us out to the car. Come to find out, this trainer will be with Dave! That was pretty exciting!
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!


  1. that last photo. I know that trainer, Karen who trained Franklin and me together. Don't worry Meghan he'll make a differents to someone.

  2. Congratulations on getting certified, Davey.

    I'm not sure if there were captions on each picture but I really enjoyed the picture story.

    I hope to visit you again.

    Davey's a Black Lab right?

    Huggies and Cheese,


  3. Way to make me cry.

    So proud of both of you!


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