Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Fifteen days until we board a plane for Orlando, Florida.

Sixteen days until I leave Dante at the Canine Companions kennels.

Seventeen days until I return home with an empty leash.

While I knew before I even picked Dante up that this day would come, it is still hard to believe that my work with Dante is coming to a close.  

I'm going to miss this dog.  Sure, he has put me through a lot.  More so than I have posted here.  Most of the time sometimes I didn't think we were going to make it this far.  But we have.  And while there are certainly things he does - or doesn't do - that drive me crazy, everyday I stand in awe that this is the same dog that I had eight months ago.

I am past the panicking stage about Dante's skill level. I am past the Oh my gosh, if he doesn't make it it is all my fault stage.  I am at the point where, even with his quirks, I know he is ready for this.  Oh, and I am now entering the stage where I want to cry as each day brings me closer to August 16th.

My family has an extremely busy schedule the next two weeks, so this week the lasts have already started, as it is Dante's last "normal" week here.  Saturday was his last puppy class, Monday was his last trip to Starbucks, where they adore him.  Last night we took a trip to Lowe's.  Walking the isles and practicing commands with Dante brought back so much.  This was one of Dante's first outings besides the library and post office.  This is where he learned the "Up" command on the many counters and boxed merchandise.  This is where, for the first time, he worked perfectly without getting distracted by another dog in the store.

It is easy to be caught up on remembering and cherishing these last few days with Dante.  And don't get me wrong - I do want to cherish them.  But thinking of a friend who will be anxiously awaiting the call if the dog her family raised makes a match next week, or the dozens of excited students who will be starting Team Training with their new service dogs on Monday keep things in perspective.  They keep me grounded that I can do this.  And not only that I can, but that I want to.

Visit, while on a high chair


Just being good



  1. Our thoughts are with you, I know it will be hard to give Dante up. But it is so wonderful that you are doing this to help someone. God bless, you got this!

  2. Ahh, thanks, Hannah!!! I am certainly thinking of you this month too as you prepare for this awesome next chapter! I am so proud of you ~ Dante is certainly ready to be a big boy on campus and learn new things and experience a new way of living. Well done! Go for it, Dante!!

  3. So proud of you Hannah. I know that the next few weeks are going to be SO hard... but you can do it.. even though it will be tough. In the end.. HE will make the decision on what he wants to do in life. You can't blame yourself for any of it. :) I thank you for doing what you do.. even as a puppy raiser doing the same thing as you.. because my mom wouldn't have her service dog Felice if it wasn't for raisers like us. It's so hard to give them up, but you know that you raised for an organization that is just amazing. :)

  4. Hannah, Dante looks pretty good there! Looks like you've done a fine job with him. An exciting time for you both. My best.

  5. You've done an amazing job with him. He's certainly taught you just as much as you've taught him and you've both come through on top!! I didn't realize you turned into FL. So cool! I hope you have a great time. You have a lot to be proud of! Good luck.

  6. You've done a great job with Dante! It's up to him now.


We love to hear from our readers! Please leave a comment!