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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words

Pilot Dogs

By: Rick and Jeannette

I want to share this letter with you because it is a moment in time where loving pet owners were BLESSED to share our Lives with people through Pilot Dogs.

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Making sure puppies all looked their best I groomed puppies for 13 hours. Each puppy got a bath, nails trimmed and filed, and haircuts and fluffed. We took photos and cleaned ears. I felt I wanted the puppies to look their best so that the new foster families would love them as much as I do. I hurt inside a little. Giving up the right to screen the new puppy parents.

I kept reminding myself that Pilot dogs have done this before and they may even do a better job than I can. But I still hurt inside not being able to place them with a loving home for my own peace of mind.

The big day arrived... August 6th 2008. Puppies were as happy as ever eating their kibbles. Breakfast for a 1/2 dozen people on the kitchen counter. Sweet rolls, fresh fruit and sandwiches. Coffee was ready and I kept checking myself in the mirror. I had no idea who the lady was that would be here sometime this morning.

The phone rang off the hook and with every call my heart would stop. "Mrs. Brown?" Christina said from the other end of the line. My heart sank thinking she was calling from the driveway.

"Yes! Hello, How was your trip? You didn't just get into town did you?" I said knowing full well Rick and I are not married. I wanted her to feel confident that she reached the correct house.

"No. I got in last night and slept great! So, I am leaving the hotel now and should be there in about 45 minutes."

45 minutes... Oh my God... I only have 45 minutes left. She sounds young. Thank goodness it isn't a snooty woman but a lady with a soft-spoken voice. A million things running through my mind as she spoke.

"I will see you shortly. Thank you" I said and hung up the phone.

A blink of an eye and she was knocking on the door. She was young. Younger than I had expected. She looked 20-22 and she was very tall. She was wearing a Polo shirt with the Pilot Dogs logo on the front. Maybe perhaps she was as nervous as I was this beautiful morning. My heart sunk again. This was going to be a tough 8-hour drive back to Ohio. 6 Puppies in her van and how will she walk them?

I started getting scared for these little babies.

"Are you hungry or thirsty? Can I get you anything?" I think I was in shock now as I got the folder out that I had put together earlier.

"No, Thank you. I just ate and I have water in the van." (She has no idea what I went through to get these sweet rolls...)

" I know Jay Gray wants you to see the paperwork on the puppies. So here we have the AKC registration for 6 puppies. As you can see we signed all 6 and I filled out their personal puppy information. Color and sex. All puppies are Limited Registration. Also, included is the vet information.” As I set the folder down on the kitchen counter I almost felt numb.

It was time for her to see the puppies. I asked her to follow me to the front porch and we walked onto the deck. I called the puppies “COME. COME. COME." The most beautiful roar of puppy paws you could ever hear grew louder. 18 puppies came from everywhere and raced to the upper deck of the front porch. It was the most beautiful day on Lake Shangri-La.

Her face lit up as she smiled at our babies. I found my six guys wearing colorful collars and separated them from the others. I then watched as she gently said hello to our little friends. Sugar, Buster, and BB were in the big yard saying hello to our guest. Now we had to carry 6 guys to her van.

Am I going to be okay? I nearly cried a dozen times after saying hello on the phone. I picked up 2 puppies and she did the same. We walked back through the house. I glanced at her van parked in the driveway. It looks like it's safe enough to carry my babies to Ohio from Chicago. Placing the two pups in one of two crates in the back of the van I walked back into the house and grabbed the last two puppies. From the corner of my eye I noticed the paperwork and slid it off the counter top. I got outside and she was glad I remembered the folder... maybe the thought just crossed her mind.

We placed the puppies in their crates and I asked her for a photo. It wasn't what I had in mind. I wanted a picture of her with the puppies down on the beach. I wanted to get a good photo of this wonderful woman who just drove 8 hours to get here. I wanted the water as a backdrop for these Standard Poodle puppies that will someday be someone's guide dog.

I cried. I didn't want her to go yet but didn't know how to tell her that this wasn't what I had envisioned. I said goodbye when the phone rang and I ran into the House.

"How are Things?" Rick said from the other end of the line. I started crying.

"You couldn't have pulled me away at a better time. She was getting into the van as the phone rang and you dragged me into the house" I said to him.

He then asked me if I was Ok and told me he loved me."

I wrote this for you so you would know a little of the event that took place that fine summer day. God works through us in many good ways.

I do love these puppies. From the moment they are born - to the point in time when they can see with their eyes. I loved watching them run sideways and roll and tumble. Puppies scare themselves when they bark for the first time. My heart is with them and with you.

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