Saturday, May 16, 2009

Penn Stat Alumni

Today Barely walked with me in my graduation ceremony at Penn State. She was awesome the entire 2 hours we were there. We waited in line to go into the auditorium for about 45 minutes, during which she either stood beside me, sat or lied down. Then once we got inside, she lied quietly at my feet while we waited to go up and receive "our" degree. I couldn't have asked her to be any better as we walked across the stage and I received my diploma and shook hands with the president and faculty. My parents even commented at how well she walked across the stage. It was as if she didn't know about 400 people were watching us (and maybe she actually didn't!).

After the ceremony, we went to a brunch hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences (I'm an animal science major). So many people came up to us to tell me how well behaved she was and to ask me questions about her. Even the Animal Science Advising Coordinator came up to me and told me she was so glad I brought Barely. She said it made the major and college look really "cool" and was a good way to show future students in the audience the fun things they can do while attending Penn State. I was so glad to here that everyone enjoyed her being there and even more glad that I brought her.

For the past year and a half, Barely has been an integral part of my college life and life as a whole. When we walked across that stage together today, I felt like it was the perfect way to close our chapter together. Bare is going to Advanced Training on July 5th and I couldn't be prouder of her. It's funny to think back to last Spring Semester at school and remember her as a crazy, little puppy and then to fast forward to today and see how she has matured into a beautiful young dog. I truly believe she will be the perfect Service Dog for someone.

My biggest fear is that her attachment to me will end up hindering her transition into becoming a Service Dog. Although it breaks my heart to say it, my greatest wish is that she will be able to move on and find the same connection with someone who truly needs her. I feel as though I have readied her for her future career the best I possibly could and it will be with immense pride that I hand her off to her partner during the graduation ceremony next Spring.

Barely's patience, loyalty, and endless love are sure to make her the most incredible Service Dog there ever was.