Monday, November 1, 2010

Mia graduates and begins her life with Erin...

After three weeks of daily training Mia and Erin are ready to begin their life together. Erin is a wonderful teenager with quadriplegia from a swimming accident just last summer. We are not sure who worked harder, and who was most exhausted by the time graduation came. It was so rewarding for us to see how well the team of Erin and Mia did by the end of the team training. They went to class, trained and trained, and went on field trips several times to practice skills in public. Erin seemed calm and happy and soon had Mia at her side ready to help out. Erin's Mom was there everyday doing all the things needed to help Erin be successful. The hard part was that Mom couldn't do the training, and didn't get to pet and love up Mia. That had to be Erin's job!

Graduation was a happy day. By graduation Mia behaved just like we had been told she would...happy to see us and receive an ear rub, but then right back to her work with Erin. Most of Mia's litter mates also graduated, and it was great to see them all on stage with their matches. The dogs were amazing, lying at the side of the wheelchairs and occassionally looking out at the auditorium full of supporters that came to honor them. We all gathered backstage, and each recipient drove their wheelchair out on the stage, one at a time. Soon it was Erin's turn, and after she arrived at center stage, George, Bonnie and Derek walked Mia out to where Erin waited. Mia separated from us without complaining, and of course enjoyed all the treats from Erin. With Erin and her parents' permission, we are sharing these photos of the "team". We wish them the best in everything they do, and know they have an awesome future together.