It should be noted that, despite scientific breeding, focused puppy raising and world-class training, not every dog can succeed as a guide. It is a difficult job that requires complete attention to ensure the safety of the team.
Hearing the news, my initial feeling was a bit of sadness, knowing that Vinson would not be moving on to the match, but that was followed quickly by the excitement of realizing that Vinson would be rejoining our family!
Last night, Sarah and I were reunited with Vinson and took him home, along with Watson and the second puppy we are currently raising for The Seeing Eye. As you'll see from the video, Vinson remembered us for sure. At home, Vinson settled in very quickly - almost as if he'd never left.
The notice and adoption happened so quickly that we're still reminding ourselves that Vinson is now a forever dog in our family. A coworker put it quite poignantly: Vinson's job was to spread the word about The Seeing Eye and share the story of volunteering as a puppy raiser. In that job, he was a champion. Now he's moving on to a new job - being a beloved family member.
So many have helped Sarah and I along the way, from puppy-sitting to calm counseling. We thank them one and all. And to all of the readers who shared this experience with us - some 80,000 - thank you.
This project is now coming to a close. We set out to share a genuine look at our experience and I think we've succeeded at that. I hope you found yourself laughing, smiling or even crying along with us at times. From Sarah, myself and the whole crew of animals in our home, we wish you all the best!