Today marks one year since we welcomed Franz into our home and dived into the world of service dog training. What a year! What a thrill! But most importantly what a learning experience!
Becoming the raiser of this adorable little pup has had its challenges but they don’t compare with the benefits and positive impact that he has and not just for those who will have the privilege of taking Franz home once he graduates. For us, it’s been a beautiful journey which has increased our communication (sometimes too much in a day!!), enhanced our time spent together and sharpened our focus generally.
When I first went to the PADS website, I saw the tagline “Raise A Puppy. Change A Life”. Well, little did I know that they meant mine?!?
Franz has opened up a section of my heart that neither I nor my spouse, had ever seen before. Franz has allowed me to discover the weaknesses that I had no idea existed. Franz has erased all the preconceived ideas that we had about our “parenting roles” as a couple as I am actually the “nice” raiser. I am the one that Franz loves to cuddle with, that he follows everywhere in the house and that he would describe as his playmate. Meanwhile, my wife is the “strict” one with a good working relationship with Franz which is itself a deep, rewarding and very special connection.
But that’s not only it! Becoming a raiser for PADS has expanded our social circle and granted us with many new amazing contacts, and even friendships. The PADS community is vast and diverse, and we all have one common goal – the success of our puppy.
So what has started a year ago as another type of volunteering commitment, one that would give my wife the joy of a furry companion, has become one of the most astounding and fulfilling projects in our home. And so much so that we are already talking about what we would do better, more and/or differently with our next puppy.
Happy first PADS-iversary to us – and I guess, here’s to many more 😉