Friday, October 18, 2013

Mavery and Pixie GRADUATE!!

Our day today was filled with talk of going home. What life will be like with our new service dogs. The opposition we will encounter as we try to take our friends in places. The frustration some are already encountering from their employers, their schools etc. It will be interesting to see how things go for us in our town.

After class we ran into Walmart, again. No matter where we go, we manage to visit Wal-Mart way more than I plan too.

Pixie was acting kind of funny in the car and as soon as we walked in Walmart she pooped. And it was disgusting. RIGHT by the food section. We were kind of dumb founded but they were super nice to us and praised CARES and all they do. This town is used to dogs, the employee told me this happens all the time, that I shouldn't worry. And everywhere we go everyone is so kind to us, but especially to Mavery. I know we will miss this welcome once we leave.

During class one of the trainers came in to see her dog and meet it's new owner. The little girl is the same age as Mavery and they have really enjoyed each other. The trainer got teary when she saw them, so you know I got teary! She had the new dogs mom and grandma with her! I LOVE being able to see all angles of this. ALL the people who pour into this program. I have been so encouraged by the new friends who have reached out to us who have either trained or received dogs through CARES. The saying has been, the CARES family. Or in Megan's words, the CARES CULT. And I get it now. It feels like our adoptions. Bringing home our girls opened up this whole new world to us. Friends from all over. People who love and support you through every step. And now we have this CARES family, who get the lengths you will go through to better the life for your loved one.

Graduation was held in the local college theatre. Since my emotions were already on edge I knew it was not going to be done with out tears. It was fun to see Sarah and Megan all dressed up, and Mavery was excited to dress up too!

As we came in trainers were there, and that of course made the tears fall.  What a job they have! To train these dogs, to love them and then to send them on. I can only imagine what it must be like for them on this day. To see their work pay off! To see their dog matched with the perfect person, and know they are going to be so loved. A lady spoke to us who works with the inmates where Pixie was trained. She promised to pass on to Pixies trainer how happy we are!

All of the new owners were on stage. The dogs were taken back stage and brought out one at a time as Sarah introduced them. If the trainer was there, they brought the dog out and handed it to their person. And again I cried. I wish Pixie's trainer had been there, I would have loved to meet them! I did get an email with some information so will be in touch with them soon.

Then the certificates began. First up was Lexie, the Great Dane and her owner. Who is a veteran from Canada. Sarah talked about how she loved being able to match veterans and how thankful she is for all they do in their service. You can tell Lexie was just perfectly matched. Her person started crying and I was pretty sure I was about to start the ugly cry. It was just beautiful. What I really want to see is photos of Lexie on the airplane back to Canada tomorrow! Can you even imagine where a Great Dane is going to fit on an airplane?? Wouldn't you love to be on that flight?

Pixie's sister Genie! 

On down the line the certificates were given. Each story just as beautiful as the first. Each face just as happy and relieved to know they have their dog. Each person forever changed by this week.

It was over to quickly and we said our goodbyes. Mavery gave her teachers a thank you card with a package of pixie sticks, of course! There are no words to say how thankful we are for the work they all do. One thing Sarah said is that she hopes we will share our stories, that we will tell others about CARES. And we will. How can we not? All week I have thought about the children I know who are adopted who could benefit from this program. We will be a voice for CARES. I am so thankful that my friend Kathy encouraged me to really look into it after it worked so well for her daughter from China.

Mavery really enjoyed Kylah this week, they are the same age, same grade. 

After graduation we visited a place in town we really enjoyed, Gambino's. I hear it is a chain but not a chain we have at home. If you are coming for CARES training and need tips on places to eat, I think we hit them all!

Tomorrow morning we will head home. We are anxious to introduce Pixie to our family and to settle back into life. I hope Pixie is ready for the craziness that is going to be reality. This nice calm hotel is just a tease!

I think Mavery's prayer from every day this week sums it all up. "Thank you God for giving me Pixie!"



Mom to my China Posse said...

You know I am thrilled to welcome you to the cares family but I feel I hit the jackpot when we first met years and years ago anyway ! Just another bond we now share ! Can't wait to meet pixie !

Jodi said...

I've finally gotten to catch up on your blog!! In tears reading about Mavery and Pixie!!!! Soooo beautiful!!!!

Leah Robertson said...

So well said, Shannon. Before we left we were excited about getting a dog. We had no idea how much we would bond with 11 other families, Megan, Sarah, trainers, puppy raisers, inmates, the wonderful town of Concordia, and the "CARES cult". We also didn't consider how much our lives would be changed forever. So very thankful God leaf us to CARES...that's a story in itself.