Hero and Kyra meeting for the first time
We arrived at the meeting place around 1:00 with an unfazed, 14-month-old sweetie who taught me more than I ever taught him. Hero has been the most amazing pup to raise. Always happy, always bringing a smile to everyone's face with his giant personality and jovial demeanor. However, I've always known this moment was coming, and my excitement for his future overtook my apprehension to let him go.
Hero was excited to see all the other dogs at the puppy truck, including his sister Hava. Then the parade of puppies begin. It is so awesome watching the new blank slates of puppies get presented to both new and repeating raisers. As raisers, we all think we are changing lives, but in reality, our lives are the ones that are most changed.
And then my name is called. A double-cross golden/lab is presented to me...Kyra. From the very moment she was placed in my arms, I knew I had a completely different puppy.
Being presented with Kyra
So much happiness and excitement in the air!!! But then the tough part comes...Hero is called back to be loaded on the truck. I'm so proud of this little guy! He gets his "ticket" and then jumps right up into the truck, ready and prepared for his new adventure!! And all I want is one more hug. He's going to do so well at Guide Dog school, and he is going to love it - just like every new situation he's been placed in this year.
Hero ready to board...with me a bit more hesitant.
Kyra is a firecracker. SO much personality in a really tiny body. She is much different than Hero was as a puppy, which I expected. Kyra is a bundle of energy and is extremely eager to please. I think she is going to be so much fun to train and to work with, but also a major challenge. She is very clingy and wants to be held all the time, like a toddler. I can also tell that Kyra is very sweet and that positive reinforcement is going to work wonders with her. Just from one day she almost knows "come", and her relieving is awesome! Everytime we praise her she looks so darn happy.
Kyra also has some attachment issues. I am glad the Fosses and I are co-raising this one, because she will definitely benefit from being passed around. She hates the kennel so far, especially if she can't see us. First five minutes in the crate and she had a potty accident. But we're working with it, trying to make kennel time 'fun'.
Kyra's playtime is ridiculously cute. She is SO small and loves to hop around after Buster (our pet boxer). She is also a beast at tug-o-war and can already give Buster a run for his money. However, she is far more people-oriented than Hero ever was. She always runs back to us for approval.
Regardless of all the differences, I am just overjoyed to once again be raising for Guide Dogs. It's such a worthwhile program and I learn and grow so much through every experience. I know Kyra will be a joy and I am excited to watch Hero progress!!