After we kidnapped Rick this morning, Kathleen, Teena and I (along with various k9's) drove down to celebrate the spring graduates of NEADS. I say "spring", but with all the snow and cold we have.. it certainly doesn't seem very spring like just yet!!!
We arrived at the hotel and got a nice group photo of (some) the Maine gals... Here is Deb with Hearing dog Rusty.. Me and Ginger, Kathleen and Leo.. Teena and Freedom. Camille was with us as well in her role of "service dog supporter" but she didn't get in on this photo.
During the ceremony, the dogs waited quietly under the seats. This was a first for Ginger and Leo, and it took them a little bit to get used to the crowd and noise.. especially the clapping!!! Camille is used to clapping from her dog show days, but that was new for the puppies. Once they figured it out.. it was no big deal.
This is Heather... she's from Maine, and was matched with her hearing dog back in January. She spoke a few words about how her dog has made such a difference in her life. We'll be seeing Heather and Savannah from time to time at our Maine chapter puppy nights. (Congratulations to you both!!!)
In celebrations of their 35 anniversary... NEADS has unveiled a new logo. The old logo was great, but NEADS has branched out over the past "few" years and felt that a new logo would better described their mission these days. I think it's pretty.....
As always, after the ceremony is there always time to chat and get lots of hugs and attention. All the puppies love this. Camille even had her own little fan group, and people asking "where her vest was".. I am going to get her one, but it won't say "service dog"... it will say "service dog supporter!!!"
It was a nice crowd that attended.. I believe (if I counted correctly) there were 19 dog/handler teams that attended. Course, next fall will be a special graduation for sure... it will be Chester's!!!! and who knows, next spring could be Ginger's and Leo's.......
It was a fun, but long day. Camille finds all this service dog stuff rather tiring... and has already found a good use for Ginger... pillow!!!
And on one last note, the "official - official letter" about Chester came in the mail this week. It tells a little about his new owner and his tasks.. but the part that I noticed.. his new owner loves the water and goes boating, swimming and water skiing... how perfect!!! Growing up lakeside last summer, Chester loved the water!!!! and it appears that he will have that opportunity (among others!!) with his new owner... it just gets better and better!!!!