Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's time to say goodbye. :(

It's taken me a while to post this because I didn't want to cry. On June 3rd, Al went back to Florida for IFT (In For Training). I had to say goodbye to my big, 80 lb. baby. It was hard coming to terms with the fact that I may never see him again..but Oakley, our newest bundle of joy, has helped the grieving process tremendously. Ironically...the day we got Al was the day before Final Exams started last year (2010), and the day Al left was just two days before Final Exams started this year (2011). The journey with Al has been a roller coaster ride. He grew up to be a handsome, fun loving dog, who, I believe was ready to go to "puppy college." On the day we were taking Al down to our Area Coordinator, who was taking him to Florida, he did one of the most sweetest things he has done yet. I got home from school, and it was just me and him at home. I did what I had done a million times before...the simple act of sitting on the floor of our living room. What happened next is what brings me to tears as I type this. Al, looking like he couldn't be happier, got up from where he was laying, with a huge smile on his face, and came and curled up in my lap like the big baby he really is. I think he knew how much I needed that. It reminded me of the days when we first got him. He actually seemed excited that I was sitting on the floor, just so he could come and sit in my lap. Al had the biggest heart of any dog I think I have ever met. He loved everything. Yes, at times, I thought he would never listen to me, but, then, all of sudden, I'd find him being the sweetest, most behaved dog I have ever met. As I said my final goodbyes, I cried into his fur, holding on as tight as I could to him. Al and I had this special bond that words can't describe. I think I'll miss my big baby every day. I am so proud of how he turned out and I can't wait to find out how he's doing in "puppy college." No matter how much it hurts to let them go, I wouldn't trade the experience of raising a Guide Dog in Training for anything. It has taught me so much. Until next time...


  1. Well written, Amy. You wrote a heartfelt, honest, and humorous farewell to Big Al. I doubt that this will be your final blog about the big guy since even though he is no longer with us, his story continues, and you are a huge part of that story.
    You generously gave a large part of your heart to Big Al, but don't forget, he filled up the empty spaces with his own love. You have a big heart, and will never run out of love to give.

  2. That goodbye is so hard and you always have the memories of him. You gave him a great foundation and hopefully, you will get many great progress reports on him in puppy college! You did a wonderful job.