I'll start with a little recap of our time in Santa Rosa. On Thursday we drove to Santa Rosa and started off with seeing Battier's mom Tosca II and her Breeder Caretaker Kelley. It was a great reunion and Battier had a lot of fun playing with her mom in the yard. After visiting I went back to the Canine Companions for Independence campus and met up with some friends from Washington that were coming down to turn in a puppy for another raiser and just for some CCI fun! It was pouring down rain, so that stopped our plans of going to the puppy park at CCI for some fun. I did get to see puppy #6 and it's always such a treat to see the puppies that we have raised, she definitely remembers me! After CCI we left for the Charles Schulz museum, it's a great place for photo ops with the dogs. The Schulz family were huge donors to CCI and sponsored our NW campus. After the museum we went to dinner and then back to the hotel with our friends for some fun before turn in day....
Off to college party! Pam, Shawn, Battier, Inez and Ryann
I woke up early on Friday (5-15) and had some extra snuggles with Battier. We were at CCI around 9 am for equipment exchange, this is where we turn in the yellow puppy cape and receive the blue matriculation cape. Then it was time for a picture with Battier, we're happy that Chris Kittredge takes the pictures, they always turn out great!
After the professional photo, we went outside and took a few photos of our own. One really cool one that I am so thankful to have is a 4 generation photo of Chandra (Shawn), Akeelah, Tosca II and Battier!
We had all the dogs play in the yard and it was great to see Battier having such a great time! After play time there was a CCI Service Dog demo and then the puppy raiser appreciation lunch. Right after lunch there was a tour of the campus. This was an awesome tour with one of the instructors. We went through the vet clinic, food prep room (they go through about 90 lbs of dog food everyday!), this is where they also have the names of each dog on a board and I could see that Battier is kenneling with another Gold Rush Chapter dog named Dawn. Next stop on the tour was to the Program office and then to one of the training rooms. It really was an excellent tour.
After that we packed up the car and headed to the Wells Fargo Center for graduation. It was such a beautiful ceremony and the class speaker was amazing! I definitely started crying when he talked about the puppy raisers and breeder caretakers. It was very sweet.
Battier was the 2nd puppy to go across the stage because it was in alphabetical order. She did great as expected. Then we were back in our seats for the rest of the program. After graduation we visited with Hiltie's family, she was my 2nd puppy and also one of my favorites. It's been so nice to keep in touch with her family.
Then it was back to CCI for the dreaded turn in. We sat on the grass and visited for a few minutes and then I gave her a big hug and the tears started to come....I knew I didn't want to cry with her around so she wouldn't think something was wrong when she was going into the kennels. I pulled it together and took her to the training room. I checked her in with our Puppy Program manager and then walked over to one of the trainers and handed over her leash. I didn't cry then, but wasn't even able to say that I was ready for a trainer to take her...I just nodded my head and off Battier went without even looking back. That's exactly how we want it to be. She is a confident, smart and beautiful puppy who will do well with whatever she chooses to do!