Then, after many months of training (yes, we have a manual), social exposures, messes, celebrations, etc. we get the DREADED LETTER. I've never received one yet, but apparently it says something about us taking our puppies back to KSDS where they will go through health assessments, behavior assessments, and extensive training to become what they were meant to be.
When we started this journey, there were 9 litters out ahead of her. KSDS typically, from what I understand, calls their litters back in order and they only have so much room in the kennels. No worries, I've got months, maybe even years (a couple anyway). But suddenly here we are in February 2013. With only 2 litters out ahead of us. And one of her sisters gets called back. And another dog just a couple of months ahead of her got their recall letter. And a dog from another organization who is her age that I communicate with is going back next week. These are "our puppies" that are getting called back. Where did my time go?
And in the meantime, that little holy terror I described has wiggled her little way right into a deep part of my heart. She snuggles with me every day. She knows me. She has licked my tears off my cheeks. She is excited to see ME! She actually knows commands that I thought I'd never be able to teach a dog! But more important than all of those things, I know that she has a purpose in life bigger than being my pet. And that shouldn't make me sad...because she was born for that, right?
But, it does make me sad. It's very sad and I think about it on a daily basis. I hope I have many more months with her. I hope that those 2 litters are full of dogs that do not get released and take a LONG TIME to get trained so there is not room for my girl. In answer to all the questions about when she goes back, I don't know. In answer to the question everyone has for me about how I'm going to give her back... I don't know! But, I do know that even if she gets released I'll do it again. And I hope that someday, I may be lucky enough to meet the person she was truly meant for. And realize why we really do this. In the meantime, I'll enjoy every adventure I have left with her. I think I could realistically expect that to be through the summer? I hope?