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23 Months: Graduation

See anything different?
I am a service dog!  Mom was talking to Aunt Robin about when she and Uncle Bill would be coming into town to run my Public Access Test and found out another delay had sprung up.  See, Aunt Robin depends on Uncle Bill driving due to her being blind and his work couldn't give him time off to come this way until October.  Mom felt defeated, since the July graduation date had been pushed to September and now to October and truthfully I could hear a tiedness in her voice as she explained that she was waiting to test me out so I could have my In Training patch off.  She was tired of people asking "who is he going to" and "has his person been picked out" questions.  It scared me too.  Was Mom sending me away?  I thought I was Mom's service dog and then I would hear her very defensive and firm statement, "He's MY service dog."

It was so nice to hear Mom claim me with such fever, but I could tell she was tired of having to do so.  People could tell I was ready, they were asking WHY I had the patch now when it was clear I didn't need it and Mom was ready to have a working dog without questions.

So when she heard the next delay she asked if, until they arrived, could she remove the In Training patch?  Robin thought for a moment and said, "Yes!"  She and Bill had discussed my level of training, what I knew and what they'd seen so far in video and what Mom had shared and determined I was indeed a service dog.  Off the patch went.

I am a service dog.  For Mom that was a moment of silent pride.  It was 3 days prior to my birthday and though she didn't call anyone, didn't announce it on the internet or anything, she swelled and I could see it.

After the call she took me into a big hug and lifted me off the ground and just held me tight. I could feel the pride, love and joy in that hug.  Then she sat down and spent the time to remove the patch from my harness.  It was pretty exciting.

Once the patch was off the harness we danced around the house with it in celebration and did the "you're a service dog" song and I got lots of kisses and I could see tears in her eyes.

Wow this was a big deal for Mom.  Max said she did the same thing when he graduated and then the presents came and she was bouncing and showing him off for two weeks.  Okay, I guess we have some showing off and bouncing.  Gifts? Huh?

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