This could have been me! I was born in Yorktown Heights on 21st December, 1997. (I found out later, that this was a breeding farm in Upstate New York, belonging to the Guiding Eyes for the blind.) I hardly knew at that time what my destiny had in store for me. All I cared about was the delicious milk, the cozy bed, those ooh so lovely stretches I gave with a moan and a groan (tiny moans and groans, as I was still a baby), hours of good sleep, doing my business (I hadn't been taught yet to do it in the right place or the right time!)...I was at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind (it was 'home' to me at that time, although, I hardly knew that I was to move to another home before finally finding my 'real' home!)
I was told later, much later, that I had belonged to the batch of puppies that went with the alphabet 'H'...and so was named Hubbell. I had brothers and sisters, all of whom had names starting with the alphabet 'H'! I would meet a couple of them during training later in the year or two..
This went on for a few weeks (about 6), when one day, we were all bundled off in trucks, to some place called Virginia! We were all a bit scared and confused because we had no idea why we were rumbling and jolting along this strange machine that made us go bump, bump, bump. A kind lady came, picked me up and took me with her. Along with her were two little girls, who became my first human 'best friends'! Her name was Lauri and the little girls...twins by the name of Chloe and Whitney . It was the 19th of February, 1998. I was about six weeks old!
Thats Lauri, holding me with a smile! I was going to live with her and her kids in VIRGINIA!!! for a while
What fun we had! It wasn't long before the twins and I had taken over the house and ran around creating so much noise and clatter.
They taught me how families loved and cared for each other. They introduced me to such wonderful things...the softness of a carpet, the cool hard floor, the polished wooden floor, soft linen, warm hugs, salty tears, shrieking laughter..I could go on and on! I enjoyed my crazy run through snow. I played with the kids till we were all tired, and then I wanted to play some more!
I had my own toys as well! I would go to sleep in my own tiny space surrounded by these wonderful toys!
Every other week, Laurie would take me somewhere, where I would meet the other dogs who were living with similar families. We were brought here because we had to learn a lot of new things. It was called 'Obedience training'. I had to sit when Laurie said "Sit", stand when so ordered, and so many other such commands. It was tiring at first, but then I started to enjoy myself. I wanted Laurie to be proud of me, so I did everything she told me without a mistake! I was to learn later, that this training was going to help me in the future when my main purpose in life as a guide dog would begin. Laurie would praise me each time I did things right, and I wagged my tail so hard because I was happy.
Ever since I was a tiny tot, I had one real pleasure in life...wagging my tail. It felt wonderful! It was liberating! It was heaven sent..in expressing myself..and I had only one strong emotion to express...HAPPINESS! Everything around me made me happy..the crip fresh air, the smell of cooking (aah!), snow, wind, rain, fresh green grass, flowers, sunshine, children,loving words, gentle pats on my back...there were so many many things to be happy about..how could one NOT wag their tail and say..yes, yes, yes..isn't this life WONDERFUL?
I had begun to settle down with this family, happy that I had found my 'home', when one day, Laurie put me in a cart and drove me somewhere. I didn't know then, that the time my for my 'calling' had come. There was a truck with many crates piled on top of each other, and I got on almost at the end, so was right on top of the pile! I found myself with other dogs, who later told me they had gone through the same experience as I had..we were confused. The same bumpty, bumpty bump happened and we were finally at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Yorktown Heights, New York. It was the end of July, 1998.
What were we doing here? What was I supposed to do now? Why had Laurie walked away? Who were these new people? They seemed nice, but I wanted to go back home! I almost didn't wag my tail then. I missed the girls so much! I was sure they missed me too. It was all too much for me. Thankfully, the day wore off and it was time to sleep. Tomorrow would be another day...