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Monday, August 29, 2011

Rocco's Graduation (Part 2)

*Warning: LONG and LOTS of pictures!*

When last we left off during our exciting "tail" of Rocco's graduation, it was just about time for all of the puppy raisers to meet in the Day Room before presenting their dogs.

First off, no one came to get us so we were wondering if we should head down to the Day Room or not. When we saw all of the other raisers there we thought it would be best to go too. We'd been sitting with Rocky and his raiser for about five minutes when Rocco's trainer came in, saw Ms.D, and looked very relieved. Haha! Apparently they had been looking for her. I swear, no one came to get us.

A picture of Rocco (R) and Rocky (L) in the Day Room.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, this time in the Day Room is a time for you to be alone with your puppy. You spend an hour getting to know your puppy's new person, but these fifteen to twenty minutes is for you to really say good-bye to your puppy. It's actually the second hardest time for me during the graduation. It was especially hard with Rocco. That's not to say that I love Rocco more than I love Freya so saying good-bye was easier. With Freya her graduating was like a big "take that!" to everyone who thought she couldn't make it so all I was thinking was how proud I was of both her and myself. But I always knew that Rocco would graduate so not having that "take that!" attitude, I found myself trying really hard not to start crying before going on stage. Both Mary and I took advantage of our time alone with Rocco.

Rocco jumps up on his Mother Mary and gives her a kiss.

Rocco and me sitting down in the Day Room
Rocco in Harness. He's looking so mellow and mature.

Rocco and Rocky laying down and being absolutely perfect!

I got down on the floor and cuddled with Rocco.

He was very affectionate and lovely. It's almost like he knew what was going on.

Well, after the opening and the presentation of the new Breeders and the CSI: Miama stars presenting an award to a real life Blind pheorensic scientist it was time for the dogs to be reunited with their blind handlers. Freya and I were one of the last...Rocco and I were one of the firsts. Still tyring not to cry we walked out on stage and presented Rocco to Ms.D...I also gave a horrible speech. I had it all planned out in my head and I knew what I was going to say and then I got up on stage and was like "Rocco was my second puppy *trembly voice* and...uhh... *"Erin, don't you start crying now!* he was special..." I don't cry at these things because all I can think of is the happy stuff. I cry after, but never during. It was an odd experience for me. I totally forgot to mention how much easier it is to give up your puppy when they go to a wonderful person and Ms.D is simply wonderful. *face palm*

Mary and me walking Rocco on stage. My head is down, but I swear that's just how I walk.
Ms.D giving her speech. I'm still holding Rocco because she gave her speech before taking him. He was so bad on stage.

Me handing off Rocco's leash. She handed me the microphone without taking Rocco and so into the mic I said, "Here, let me just give you this." *face palm* I'm sure I sounded horrible.

Then we got refreshments and Rocco got to say hi to Lance again before leaving. Now, Ms.D went down the hall with her husband to get some dog food and left us in the room with Rocco and her best friend. Mary and Ms.D's best friend started talking so I just sat down on the floor with Rocco and started petting him and told him how he had to be a good boy or else I would be so disappointed in him. And that, my dear friends, is when I started crying. That also happens to be the point when I started crying at Freya's graduation. When I was left alone after presenting her. I think it's going to be a trend now. But, yes, I started crying and Ms.D's best friend looks over at me and says, "Don't you start now. You're going to make me start!" Haha!

Rocco (R) and Lance (L)

Then it was really time to say good-bye and to watch my boy walk away from me.

Rocco walking away with Ms.D and her husband. "You know you're a puppy raiser when you find such joy in handing over your dog's leash to someone you just met."
A close-up of them walking away. "You Know you're a puppy raiser when you'd rather see your dog walk away than stay."

It was a lovely graduation and, if I haven't said it enough, I can't believe the great matching powers of Guide Dogs for Blind. My first puppy went to the absolute perfect person and now my second puppy is starting his new life with the absolute perfect person for him. Good luck and many Guiding years to Rocco and Ms.D!

*This post might have caused me to cry*


  1. Congrats on Rocco graduating! :) I totally agree with you on the great matching powers. They always amaze me!

  2. congrats on rocco graduating and going to a great person.wish i couldve been at the graduation. I think the post needs a warning sign though "make sure to have tissues before reading"

  3. Congrats! You did an AMAZING job with Rocco and I think that his partner will see that over the next years. I can't say how excited I am for you! I LOVE the pictures! Rocco looks so wonderful in harness!

    God bless,
    Elijah & Hobart II


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