We attended a wonderful graduation yesterday. It was a packed program with a full house and highlights included some exceptional graduates and phenomenal matches with guides, a $75,000 Microsoft employee donation to GDB, and an ambassador dog who is going to work with many children because working with one person would never have been enough for him.
Naturally, my favorite part of the graduation ceremony was getting my sixth puppy. Five of us were called on stage to receive one. While we were waiting there was a choir singing a song that started with "Oh GDB, oh GDB, how lovely are your puppies." During the song volunteers with puppies adorned in red ribbons meandered through the audience on the way to the stage where we were waiting. I was the second person to receive a puppy and I received Valora.
Vicky and Vance join Valora in the greater Portland area, and I believe Vicky and Valora will have exposure to one another since we know Vicky's raiser from Friends Meeting. The other two puppies were from an F litter and I have learned that they too were sired by Sid, so all the puppies are related.
Here's Valora and her red ribbon right after graduation ended.
Valora is a cuddly puppy who slept with her head tucked under my chin all the way home. She's very mellow though can be prone to pouncing on leaves, and dragging around big bones while growling ferociously. Then she'll come running over to me wanting to be picked up and falls instantly asleep with head tucked under my chin. It's early, but I'm so impressed by what I've noticed in her personality and how responsive she is to me and Lyn. I may have met my competition though: She loves Yumi.
I let them do this because we only have Yumi for another week. I'm also just thrilled to have a dog that acts like a mentor to a younger one.
I have decided to take Yumi back on Sunday. It was going to be Saturday, but Saturday is a work day for me and since the GDB kennel is providing us the opportunity to accompany our returned dogs to their kennels and spend time meeting the kennel techs and seeing people excited to see Yumi, I want to spend as much time as I need saying goodbye and walk away knowing Yumi is in good hands. One of Yumi's sisters is arriving on campus the same day and another is already there. I'll be able to let her go, but this is the best way for me to close this chapter of our puppy raising life. It's going to be a very emotional week, that's for sure!
Yumi at Oregon Veteran's Home this afternoon. She looks so grown up and ready to move forward to her next life's adventure.