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Words from the heart from a Puppy Raiser

June 2nd, 2016

Guide Dogs was touched to read the words from one of our Puppy Raisers, Deb, on one of the most common questions she is asked by people she meets.

She has penned a heartfelt message on how Puppy Raisers can give the puppies back to either start their journey to change lives or have a career change.

We are honoured to share a snippet of it with you below.

As a puppy raiser with the Guide Dogs SA/NT, the most common question I get asked is ‘how could you give them back? I wouldn’t be able to give them back’.

My response has always been that they don’t belong to us and there is a bigger picture at play here. As mothers we often put the needs of others before ourselves out of love.

I have often wondered if people think we are unfeeling to be able to give the puppies back.  I feel the opposite is true.  I feel because we give them unconditional love, and I think I speak for all puppy raisers in saying, that we not only love them like our own pets, but we are committed to their progress to succeed.  Loving them unconditionally means knowing they are on loan to us to mould, to teach, to give them their first introduction into the world and then let them move onto the next part of their journey.

Instead of grieving about what we don’t have later down the track, I think if we go into it with an attitude of how grateful we are to be part of someone’s better quality of life, I would say that is thanks enough.  To give is to not expect anything in return and still be happy to do it.  In saying that, I think we are very lucky for the experience and the reward we get from the way it opens our hearts.  I guess it comes back to quality over quantity and the gratitude for the moments.

When we take out the thought of WIIFM, (What’s in it for me) it’s really a no brainer, because realistically it’s NOT about us.

I think the ability to let go is a greater gift of love than to try to keep it for ourselves.

Missing the physical presence of someone, human or pet is a natural occurrence. Trying to hold onto it because it relieves a need in us isn’t unconditional love. I believe small children and animals come into this world giving unconditional love, it’s our role to ensure they continue to receive it back.

I believe the biggest lesson I have learnt from being a mother, nana and now a twice time puppy raiser is vulnerability.  The risk of having your heart broken but yet still show up every day for more, because it is worth it.

Thank you Deb for sharing this with others. More information about Puppy Raising.

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