An amazing day!
I saw a necklace with colored beads that matched the sweater perfectly, and then I saw what the pendant said: "Love, peace, joy, patience" and other words. (Don't have it in front of me). Too perfect! (and on sale, too!)
The drive down was horrendous, but Saturday dawned gorgeous, just perfect. I popped in U2's "Beautiful Day" as we headed to GEB. It's one of the songs on the puppy-playlist I mixed on my iPod. I know, how geeky is that.
Anyway, even though I'd toured the Canine Development Center twice before, I signed up for the tour again because it was a good way to keep Andrew entertained that morning. And who ever wants to pass up the chance to ooh and aah over baby puppies, right?
In the weird happy coincidences continue mode, our tour guide was Lisa, who owns Farrell, Murphy's dad! It was so cool to hear about Farrell from her, even though Sarah has told me plenty too. She had a few minutes before the next tour, so I showed her Murphy's baby scrapbook. She agreed he looks like his daddy.
So then there we were at graduation.
I got worried when I saw all the boxes of Kleenex out! I have to admit, I had two worries. One, would I pick out Murphy out of all the black Labs? And two, would he remember us?
Murphy was the second black Lab in-- the first was Sarah's Diego, and I recognized him, from the pictures and from knowing he was with a young man. Then Murphy walked in and I knew him immediately. That's when I lost it. He looked so composed and mature.
Graduation was great -- they asked that only one person from each family come up to receive the certificate for puppy raisers, but I gleefully broke that rule. I was so proud of Andrew when he walked up with me and took it so proudly.
Afterwards, we got to meet Lance, Murphy's owner, in person. And yes, Murphy knew us. When Andrew greeted him -- after getting permission from Lance, of course! -- Murphy just lunged at him. We retreated to let Lance get him under control again, and then Woody, the class instructor and Murphy's trainer, suggested that we move to the back, where it was less crowded. That's when I got to greet Murph, and he knew me too -- he jumped all over the place again.
We talked to Lance, who lives in Wyoming, for about 90 minutes before we really had to get on the road -- it's a 6-hour drive back to Maine. I liked him so much -- he is a teachers' aide, so Murphy will be working in an elementary school, where he will probably be in hog heaven, being around kids all the time. Lance's first guide is retiring because of arthritis, but he is keeping her, so Murphy will have a friend to play with. He has a big fenced yard, he said, so I picture them having a grand old time. We bought Murphy a toy -- two tennis balls (his favorite thing ever) on a strong knotted rope, so that he can share with his new playmate. We also made a scrapbook of Murphy's puppy year for Lance, figuring that the kids at his school might like to see it. Andrew was so cute -- he insisted on explaining every page to Lance. He is so nice and so patient and generous with Andrew.
Anyway, enough yammering. On with the pictures:
Here's Lance with Murphy, just after the class came in.
This is Sarah, getting her certificate. Way to go, Sarah! My one regret from this is that things were so crazy that we didn't even get to talk, though we were sitting near each other during the ceremony.
Andrew got plenty of petting time with Murphy.
Here we are, all of us. Andrew felt very important, to have a camera and the job of taking pictures!
And finally, as the ceremony wound on, I caught Murphy (at left) and Diego comparing notes on "When do you think this will be over?"