Today and yesterday, the word went out from ECAD (East Coast Assistance Dogs) that the pups we watched being born a few months ago and have followed since are about to be transferred to a training facility. There are eight Golden Retriever pups who will make someone’s life worthwhile again in a very short time.
There are close to 5000 of us tuned in today to watch till they leave. We have jobs and families and activities to engage in and with. But we can’t stop watching them! What is it about a group of cuddly fuzzballs that has us all in a froth?
Most people love puppies. Puppies are cute. Our hearts just go to where they are and root for them to thrive. But this feeling among the 5000 goes deeper. These are to be service dogs. Some, valued between $25,000.00 and $50,000.00, will be given free to wounded veterans. They will be trained together as a unit and will become bonded in the deepest way possible. The dogs will comfort and calm them when a loud noise frightens them. Some who were hermits will now get outside and begin to live again. Those who cannot walk or see or hear or hope will have a soft and furry appendage who can do all of that for them.
In the end, the 5000 grieve for the deeper love we feel for these 8 animals. It isn’t often that you get so close to uncritical acceptance, deep and selfless loyalty, joyous companionship, and life-saving love determined that everything go for us as well as it possibly can. In these small furry faces we capture all of those feelings and qualities. Who wouldn’t grieve when love like that trots, wagging, out the door? I have to go back and say goodbye again.