When I first gave Thornwald to a different raiser, my heart was crushed. I put all my energy into raising him, but as time passed, it hurt less. I love him and I learned so much from him, but if being with a more experienced raiser will help him succeed, then letting go is exactly what I needed to do as part of raising him. Soon afterward, I started to experience weird symptoms and I was very thankful that I was not in charge of Thornwald at that moment. I could not drive and I was in no state of mind to give him the best lessons a hyper, seven month old puppy needed. I was so happy to see him when I got to visit him and I was proud. It was like visiting a child at college. It was shocking, but I was never angry. I did this for Thornwald and whomever would benefit from him. Anyone who thought it would be impossible to give him up weren't thinking in the same mindset that I was thinking.
I am so glad that I was able to raise Thornwald and would never trade that time for anything. I love my current dog, Cash, and I was able to help him through his recovery (he was an underweight stray) because of what I learned with Thornwald.
I now see service dogs and what they do in such an amazing new way. It's fantastic to see these dogs from the beginning. Susquehanna Service Dog does that. I love hearing success stories or seeing service dogs in public. I love knowing that these lovable animals can do so much and that such a fantastic organization can make this happen for so many people. And they are trying to expand.
Now that I am moving back with my parents, I won't be able to volunteer for Susquehanna Service Dogs, but they won't be far from my mind. I hope to find a way to raise money or donate supplies they might need. They inspired me to see the potential in all dogs. They showed me the importance of consistency and positivity. I've been able to translate their teaching methods to other aspects of my life. And for the first time in my life, I was able to overcome my mental health issues because my life was not focused on me, but on a puppy, its potential, and the person he would eventually help.
And as a bonus, they showed me how to train my own dog.
If you are looking for a place to donate to, consider them! Just send them an email or look at their list on their website. You won't regret it.