I don’t even know where to start and must admit that I am still speechless – and we all know that it doesn’t happen often Lol!
When Meredith, the PADS Marketing and Media Coordinator, texted me that she had something for us, I thought that she had a little ‘get better’ gift after hearing that I had hurt myself. But no, she insisted on on meeting with both Leanne and me and surprises us with an Award.
Wow! What a surprise and what an honour – we are over the moon! Thank you to whoever nominated us and thank you to the award judges, PADS and their board of directors for acknowledging our time commitment and dedication to raising future service dogs, helping new volunteers get settled and helping them succeed with their new puppy and of course, following all the training standards to the T.
We love being a part of the dogs’ journeys but what makes this award so meaningful to us is that there are so many other volunteers that deserve this award. The first PADS volunteer that jumps to mind is Teri Banks. Teri was there on day one telling us what to expect and explaining the challenges that we may be facing by welcoming a 8-week-old puppy in our home. Her insights helped. Raising your first PADS dog is always a huge learning curve and having great trainers, good mentors (like Teri) and a pool of tools has helped us to be the best that we can be. We are the recipients of this award but it really goes to every person who has walked this path with us over the last 5 years with PADS.
Leanne and I make a great team in life, in business and yes, in dog training 😉 – and accepting this award together is mind-blowing as it confirms what I have always known…I wouldn’t be half the person that I am without her and together we ROCK! We are both very different and very similar at the same time. We are both very involved but Leanne is the rule follower, the one that reads all the manuals and reviews all the protocols while I am the interpersonal one, making sure that I communicate what we learn to others, being the liaison, coordinating walk & talks with other raisers, submitting our homework and paperwork on time.
It’s an honour that our synergy is obvious to everyone and that the amount of time that we put into PADS is appreciated. Thank you for the recognition, for this meaningful award and let me just say that the time we give and sacrifices we have made raising PADS dogs so far are nothing in comparison to the joy & fulfillment this journey has brought us. We have met the most amazing people, gained so much knowledge and received so much love that volunteering for PADS is probably one of the best decisions in life that we made.
So here’s to many more hours of dedication in training, attending events, fundraising, coaching, writing pupdates, delivering dog food/toy/kennel, puppy sitting and yes, a bit of socializing 😉