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Days 22 and 23 – Excitement Builds, arival on campus, lunch, graduation, party time and leaving on a jet plane

Harold and I are home safely and I am writing this on my desktop. Boy does it take some getting used to switching keyboards :).

I got up early on Saturday and was dressed for the day by 6:00. I ran down to the nurses office to speak to Mary who assisted me with getting the digital picture frame ready for Robin (who loves it by the way). Mary put in the 1 gig SD card (that I had loaded pictures on prior to me leaving to the nurses office). She then plugged it in and made sure that it was working. Sure enough, it went great! She spent time reviewing the pictures in the frame and then afterwards proceeded to wrap it for me with Guide Dog puppy wrapping paper that I bought from the store.

After breakfast I assisted a classmate with some Victor Stream questions. The day was going slower then a turtle. At 11:00 I went down for lunch and ate quickly. I then proceeded to take Harold out (we were now allowed to take them out by ourselves and not as a group). While at lunch my cell phone rang and it was the Goldstein family letting me know that they were on campus and in the visitors center. We finally met at 11:45 or so. It was so wonderful to meet them. When I approached I handed Robin the leash and she took Harold from there for quite a while. They really missed him and you could tell how much love they had for him.

We talked for quite a while and then went and had a group picture taken. We will get copies of this picture. Robin, Scott and me went outside to relieve Harold. We then hurried back inside and talked for just a bit more. Once we were done Robin took Harold from me (in harness) so that she could present Harold to me on the stage.

Then the graduation. I saw Marlaina just before the start of graduation and she took my DS50 and recorded the entire graduation. We are also getting DVDs of the ceremony and when I get it I will rip the audio from the DVD and post it.

Many funny stories were told, as well as a few sad and touching ones. The time went by very fast.

After graduation we went on a tour with Robin and her family. I got to see portions of the campus I actually hadn’t seen, so that was fun.

We then went out to Outback for dinner. We had Robin’s entire family, Marlaina, Gary, myself and Erika, a friend from our class. I believed at the time that she would have been the only one left on campus so we took her with us. We road in Marlaina and Gary’s van. We were there for over 3 hours and it never seemed like it.

When we departed we all give hand shakes and hugs goodbye. I guess when I got into the van to leave Sam started to cry. That really touched my heart.

I got back on campus and proceeded to make final preparations for home. I took a shower, washed remaining clothes and packed all of the electronic goodies. I purchased the Rising, an audio drama from Earflix to listen to on the plane and copied it to the stream.

I was up at 4:00 or so and took my luggage out at around 5:15. We loaded into the busses and we proceed to the airport. Harold did a bang up job in the airport.

The plan rides were uneventful, save it for the nurse who kept offering powdered doughnuts to Harold.

It was great to see Keri and the kids. Harold has been doing well. He gets along with our cat Mew, at least on leash anyway :). He really likes Brian and Keri very much. David has yet to interact with Harold yet.

Time to finish unpacking, one more suitcase to go!

We will give more updates this week along with some audio clips.

Stay tuned for the blog update on day 1 of Harold’s working week.

Comments

  1. Yayayayayay for you both!!! I’m so proud, happy and excited!!! Welcome home!!! I hope your heart feels light and full and like an overflowing fizzling soda, just bubbling with joy!!! You deserve it all!

    Love!
    Deb

  2. I am so proud of you! I am glad that graduation went so well, and that you were able to meet with Harold’s raising family, I know for me that was such a joy! I am so glad you blogged your training journal, it brought back so many wonderful memoriesut and I’ve enjoyed getting to hear your stories and watch you and Harold grow as a team. I wish I could have been there for your graduation but it wouldn’t have worked out with school and health issues (for once I have just a nasty cold, not something more scary, but I sound horrible, so it’s good that I wasn’t there). I am so proud to have you a part of the GDB family, and your blog shows how a training journal should be in my opinion. You should seriously consider makingg it into a book, maybe with some of the updates from your new life with Harold, your journal is one of the best I’ve read, definitely in the top few.

    I am here if you ever need to talk, I’ll listen, I’ll tease you and I will do anything I can to help you. Keep up your excellent work and thank you for letting us in on your journey! Keep a loose leash, click, praise and if you feel the tensions of beginning life without an instructor over your shoulder, remember that we all believe in you and are here for you. The bonds that you made this past few weeks will never go away and the bonds you’ve had since way before training are always here to support you. I know that those first few days with Julio at home were scary and yet so exciting, and I know that you will walk through these days together and the bond will grow deeper still. Even though I’ve been friends with you for a while and have always admired the way you handle things, I wanted you to know how much I admire you from reading your posts about training, I’m not surprised because I knew you’d do great, but it has been a joy to watch your journey even still. I’ll stop embarrassing you now, but I haven’t transfered contacts over from my old computer to my Wind and evn so, I’m not sure which email to use for you anyway, so you’re stuck with me commenting for now.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Welcome home to you and Harold. I am glad you had a fabulous graduation and good time with the Goldsteins sounds like it was great.

    I imagine the whole family is glad to have you back home. Smile!

    Look forward to your adventures with Harold.

  4. Welcome home you and Harald( big smile) Congratulations again,you two are a great team! Hope you have many,many wonderful years at this partnership. Sounds like a exceptional, fabulous time was had by all. So nice to hear. The Goldsteins sound like very nice people. Thanks so much for sharing this journal of your experience at GBD here on your blog as well as in our conversations on the phone. I appreciate it very much. I agree with Nickie, you should make this into a book,definitely keep it. :) I know this was a very Special day for you and wil be a fond memory in years to come. Take Care.