Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Graduation was amazing! I am going to start at the very beginning of the trip. And well, I haven't unpacked yet and my camera cord is in my bag so no pictures just yet.
On Thursday I finished packing and finally fell asleep at 12am. I was just a little excited(:
Friday I got up at 2am to head to the airport. We got there at 3, checked in, went through security, and boarded the plane at 5:30. I slept the entire flight! We flew into Arizona where we had a layover that consisted of getting off the plane walking to the other terminal and getting on a plane. Then I slept on the flight to San Francisco. We were off the plane and out of airport by 10. The very first thing we did was head to GDB campus. We got lost a few times, but we got there! I was amazed at how many people there are everywhere! We stopped at an In and Out Burger on the way to campus and I swear there were like 100 people in there! It was crazy and no one seemed to notice that there were tons of people. In Colorado at the busiest time of day there are like 20 people, tops! Anyways, we got to campus and it was raining! We went on a tour anyways and I loved it! There were only two other people on the tour so I got to ask all the questions I wanted! :) After the tour we drove around San Francisco and San Rafael. We went over lots of bridges and I saw some sea lions! The last time I was at the ocean I was 4 so it was really exciting for me! Then we went out for dinner and headed to the hotel for bed!
On Saturday I got up nice and early and got ready to go. We got to campus at 10, went to the gift shop, took some pictures, and finally headed in to check in. At 11:45 they brought Gabrina and her partner, L, out. Gabrina pulled L all the way down the hallway and climbed into my lap even though I was sitting in a chair. I guess you could say she remembered me :). She was so excited and wigglely, just like I remembered!
We never found out how old her partner is, but we guessed around 70. She has children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She has RP and started losing her sight around 50 years ago. L lives in San Diego in an apartment alone. Despite her age she is very active and happy to have Gabrina as her 3rd guide dog. They seemed perfect for each other! Finally it was time for graduation to start. I was the 3rd to last one to present. When L walked away to go on stage, Gabrina looked really concerned. She didn't understand why L was leaving her! That's when I knew they were the perfect match. Gabrina was excited to see me, but she knew that she belonged with L. When I went to hand over Gabrina and give my speech I realized that I still had no idea what I was going to say. I had been so busy I didn't really think about it. So when L handed over the microphone I said what came to mind. I was going to talk longer than I did, but I was on the verge of crying and when I cry I can't talk anymore, so I wrapped it up real fast before I lost it. I know there were many blogger friends there. I didn't get the chance to meet anyone and I know most of you were there for other reasons, but thank for coming anyways!
After graduation L had to catch a flight right away so we said goodbye and headed to the beach. It was amazing and I played in the sand and in the cold water for 4 hours! I really liked it :)We went out for dinner and then went on a night hike and looked at San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge at night! It was beautiful.
On Sunday we went to the beach again and hung out. We went to a lighthouse and I saw a whale! More animal excitement! Then we drove through the mountains and redwood forest. It was beautiful! Then we went to dinner and headed to the airport. Our flight left at 6:30 and we were on our way to Arizona. We had a two hour layover this time so we walked around and at ice cream and had fun! I love traveling and airports so I love flights with layovers! Then we flew to Denver and got home around 2 am.
It was a very busy but fun weekend! And the best part was that I didn't cry the whole time! I got close to it while giving my speech, but I didn't! Saying goodbye to Gabrina and L was really easy because Gabrina was so happy. Her tail wagged the entire day and I knew she was where she belonged.

That's the end of my puppyraising adventure with Gabrina. L promised to keep in touch, but my work with her is done. It couldn't have been a more perfect ending :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bye, Bye Colorado

Hello GDB!
It took some last minute scheduling changes, but on February 12th, my parents and I fly out to California! I am really excited! But I am also nervous for the speech...if anyone has any suggestions on what I should say please let me know! 
Thanks for all your support! I am hoping to catch up on blogs soon!
Maddie and Betsy 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I just got the best news EVER!

Gabrina is graduating on February 13th!
Sorry Ro, guess she isn't your dog! Bummer!
I am really excited for her,  the only problem is that I have so many things going on that weekend. I'm not sure if we are going to be able to fly out or not. I am really hoping to make things work!


Betsy's dream life

**Disclaimer: That is not Betsy in the picture! Although, I'm sure she wishes it was!**

You can definitely see the retriever instincts in Betsy. If I am not holding onto her leash or touching her at all times she will go and find me something. She never chews it up, but she will bring me shoes, her food dish, pens, papers, book, basically anything she finds on the ground. After she has gotten her item she comes running back to me to show it off. She prances around in front of me until I ask her for the item. Then she immediately drops it in my hand. Or when she gets excited she grabs the closest thing to her to show you. Usually it's a bone or her dragline. When it's her dragline she is extra proud of herself, even though I have to take it away. Although it is not GDB approved, it is stinkin adorable! I am working on breaking the habit by encouraging her to carry around her toys instead of my things. 
A black lab running through the water with a dead duck in its mouth. There is white water flying up around it and its ears are flying back
Betsy would make an awesome service dog! You know, the ones that pick things up and carry them for disabled people. Unfortunately, GDB doesn't let us teach our dogs to carry our things. She would also rock at fetch! She loves to bring you anything and everything.
If she doesn't make it as a guide I can definitely see hunting in her future! 

Maddie and Betsy