What an insane weekend it's been.
Nothing about Lomax has been conventional or expected, thus far. I received him a few days after his one-year birthday, not as a wee pup. I had been assuming all along that I would get a black Lab, but he was yellow. I thought I'd only be fostering him for about six months, but I had him for ten. I thought it would be easier to start with an "older" puppy. Ha.
Likewise, I always thought that if I received the news of his impending graduation, I would spend the rest of my day making phone calls, telling everyone I knew in just the right order, posting some eloquent announcement on the blog, et cetera. However, I got the phone call about ten minutes before I was due to leave my apartment for a weekend getaway. So I left a voicemail for Joanna, put up a slapdash "guess what" on the blog, shot a quick e-mail to my puppy group leaders, flung everything in the car and spent the next hour or so trying not to cause an accident while calling people from my decrepit cell phone while I was sitting in traffic on the 405 freeway.
Not exactly the big hoorah I had planned, but it was a mad rush.
And you know what else? There were a few people who didn't think he'd ever be a guide dog. And by that I mean there were a few people who TOLD me so. One person looked at him one day, as Lomax was doing his best to "sit" at the end of the leash (which meant tap dancing and wiggling his butt so hard that he couldn't actually remain seated), and said to me flat-out, "He's never gonna make it. He's NEVER gonna make it." Who knows how many more people simply never gave voice to their thoughts?
Lomax's exuberance and wiggly distraction (dogs, people, whatever) was challenging and frustrating and yes, at times, discouraging. But we never gave up. I knew he wanted to work, and I knew there was someone out there who would need him and love him and give him an important job to do.
That someone is Barbara. I won't tell you her last name or the name of the Arizona town where she lives, just to preserve her privacy. But I will tell you that she leads a busy, active life, and that she has two kids. What could be more perfect for Mr. Wigglepants? I can't wait to meet her.
And oh, yes...I believe I have also neglected to mention that next Sunday's graduation is going to be a family affair. Lomax and his beloved brother Liam will BOTH be looking handsome in harness, with their new partners.