Thursday, March 1, 2012

Benjamin Button Dog

golden retriever in puppy coat Luigi

read more about his early life...

by Carrie Mesches at the graduation of her Guide Dog puppy

We are so proud and happy to be here today to meet Julia and celebrate the graduation of all of the dogs, but most of all our Luigi.

Luigi is the “Benjamin Button” of Guide Dogs. Like the character in the movie, he was born an old man and seems to have aged backwards! When Luigi was a young pup I actually took him to the vet numerous times because he was so mellow that I was convinced he had a heart defect or something seriously wrong. He was scary mellow…drag him out from under a table at a restaurant mellow, wake him up in the morning to eat, mellow. And we all know that Lab puppies are known for their timely eating habits!

As he matured, we were happy to see more of his playful nature and sweet personality emerge, and we knew he was special. He was the puppy that we never thought twice about taking anywhere, hotels, fancy restaurants, the symphony, eighth grade, he even went to a GLEE concert! Anywhere we went Luigi was dignified, made friends, and impressed even the “wary of dogs” crowd. He was just EASY. That label soon earned him the honor of being every new raiser’s puppy sitting puppy. Luigi was loved by pretty much every puppy raiser in our club. (As you can see by his fan club in the audience) He helped them realize that they really were capable of raising a puppy, and built their confidence.

I would like to thank all of the members of our puppy club, Stanislaus County PAWS. I’m proud of all of you and your puppies. I’d also like to thank the Canine Welfare Technicians here at GDB, especially Betsy. It’s so much easier to bring our beloved puppies here at recall time, knowing that they will be loved and cared for by the kennel staff. I’m very proud of the commitment that my kids have made to raising guide dog pups. Sophie did an amazing job with Luigi, and has started a new puppy, Wilbur. Olivia and Emma have wonderful puppies in training, Gaston and Kenton. Our son Ben is in charge of snuggle and play time when he is home from college. Most of all I’d like to thank my husband, Jeremy, who has supported and helped me with all of the puppies who have come and gone through our house. He has been up for just about anything as far as my Puppy Club responsibilities are concerned. I just have to work on the dog toy/dog collar category in our budget.

Julia, I’m so happy that Luigi is your dog. We have become friends, we live pretty close to each other, and I look forward to getting to know you better. Thank you for being willing to stay in contact with us. My hope for you is that Luigi, like Benjamin Button, will continue to age backwards for you during your long happy life together.

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