Tonight was the night I had been waiting for since they left our house. The night when I would have a reunion with the little balls of fur I had fallen in love with. Tomorrow they turn 10 weeks old-And this was the night that they would be named. There was so much anticipation and excitement in my heart throughout the day that I thought I was going to be sick on my way there. I picked up Ken at work and quickly got us there 20 minutes early, and then the waiting game began…..
Mark was there filming the evening and the first thing on the agenda was learning about the names that had been chosen for the litter. They are the L litter so all of the names would start with an “L”. I got to bring the “list” that I had emailed to Can Do Canines with some suggestions of L names that either I liked or those making suggestions on the Life of Sugar facebook page. It was a LOOOOONNNNNNGGGG list, so I was fairly certain that SOME of the names on the list had to be chosen, or would they???? They would tell me the names that were selected, and I would have the fabulous opportunity of choosing which pup would get which name!!! You have no idea how exciting the thought of being able to match a name with the puppy I thought it would fit best was for me!!!
First was Lizzie/Miss Purple and Logic/Mr. Blue-the two pups going with another organization, so while these are their names for now, they will most likely be renamed when they go to their final destination. Then there was the name-a-puppy; someone had donated or raised funds in order to have the opportunity to name a puppy from a litter and Miss White would have the honor of carrying the name-a-puppy designation and the name Lola! We were down to the final four (always important in sports, so of course I thought it was just as important in this situation as well!) I was shown the final names that had been selected….Linus, Lyric, Leonard and Liam! My heart almost leapt out of my chest as I realized that Liam happened to also be the name of my grandson! I immediately broke up with tears of happiness that I would have the opportunity to assign one of the pups with a name that was so near and dear to me, and of course I knew EXACTLY which puppy would get that name……..the puppy that stole my heart early on in the first day or two and I had no idea why. Of course, that name would go to Mr. Orange! One of the great things about puppies being named is that many people are able to make a connection with a name in one way or another-the name of a family member, a friend, a beloved pet, or a colleague. When it happens and you can make a connection with a name, you immediately adore that puppy just a little bit more if that’s even possible!
Then Kaity showed up with the Can Do Canines van and walked in to let us know the puppies had arrived! I got to reintroduce myself to them in the “potty yard” since they had just had a very long ride back and I loved when they ran up to me and jumped on me with their wet paws. It seemed like they had some inkling of who I was and as time went on that “memory” seemed to take hold. By the time we got into the play room they seemed completely okay with Ken and I being there and to me anyways it seemed like they had made the full connection. We would call them back and forth and they would come running across the room, and once again I would bust out in laughter at their big ears, their clumsy feet and their lanky bodies!
So, the evening progressed-playtime with all of the puppies, running around, calling them with a ridiculously high voice and letting them crawl all over me and maul me and then I would squeal with delight! It was like everything around me disappeared and my vision only included the puppies-I didn’t notice anyone or anything around me and once I got home I realized that it was like a blur, except for the crystal clear images I still have in my mind of each of the puppies.
And then the time came where the new puppy raisers and great starts got to come in (in 2 different shifts) to meet with their new pup! At that moment, it brought me back 5 years ago when I was the one coming to pick up a puppy that I was waiting for and I remembered the absolute thrill of those first moments; it was incredible to be on the other side of that and to watch that pure excitement of others. I was so incredibly happy to be able to witness that! All of the volunteer puppy raisers are excited to get these puppies; they have to figure out what these puppies are like; how they are going to fit into their household and all of the other concerns that go along with having a puppy in your house-but the joy I saw when they walked in to greet their new member of their family is what will keep these families enjoying every moment they get to spend with these puppies!
One by one the puppies started to leave the room with their new families, and at one very brief point I thought for sure I was going to cry at watching them leave. I have no idea why, because I was so happy to have the opportunity to meet the families and have the reunion with the puppies. Maybe it was because the evening was filled with so many different emotions that I was going to overflow with the excess, maybe it was because this was the final moment that I would be officially a part of these puppies lives, or maybe it was because I was a little nostalgic that tonight was the last night these puppies would be “littermates” that got to play and fight with each other. Luckily for me, I was able to make a quick walk over to the corner of the room to pull myself back together before the final group of volunteers came in.
And after 3 hours of being at the facility waiting, playing, and saying goodbye, it was time to go home. What I have thought about since leaving was my amazement at exactly what it takes for an organization like Can Do Canines to smoothly operate and combine all of the facets of all of these dogs to make sure everything is successful. I am so unbelievably impressed with all of the staff that insure the safety and placement of puppy raisers, great starts, fosters, final training homes, dealing with other organizations, the breeding program, the training program and all of the behind-the-scenes day to day operations of marketing, accounting, photography, business development, etc. that make this program so successful. I’ve been a great start home, a foster for many, a puppy raiser and a breeding/whelping home-I know the amount of work that EACH one of those programs needs just from my volunteer perspective and tonight I really felt like I got to experience a little of all of these experiences. I will add this to my “OIL” list; my Once In A Lifetime experiences. Thank you to all of the staff that make our journey as volunteers a meaningful one!
I’m hoping to see lots of pictures in the future of these adorable L pups and I will share whatever possible along their journey through this blog and the Life of Sugar Facebook page. I can’t wait to see their future unfold!!!!
Tonight I got to personally experience what can be accomplished when many work together for a common goal, and for that, I will always be thankful!!!!