Graduation was Sunday, Dec 7. It was an awesome affair except that it was 33 degrees outside, and probably just as cold inside the Training Center (huge, unheated horse barn) where the graduation was held. This is a picture of me and Montana--me wearing many, many layers and Montana impervious to the cold! He was in true service dog mode and acted perfectly. I was very nervous, sitting up on stage along with the four other graduates. I got to give my speech first, didn't cry too much (had to stop once and wipe my runny nose!), and then I was able to sit back and listen to everyone else give their speeches. Each graduate was presented with a scrapbook of his/her dog from puppyhood when they were first accepted into the St. Francis Service Dog program, up until the present time. The scrapbooks are full of wonderful things like pictures and journals that none of us had ever seen before. I will cherish mine forever.
After the graduation ceremony, there was the Puppy Parade. About 25 puppies and young dogs that are in training were led across the stage and introduced. The youngest two were 4-month-old Labs, cute as ever. Some of the young Golden Retrievers looked like furballs. After the puppy parade, there was a reception with hot coffee and hot spiced apple cider, cakes and cookies, and other goodies.
What was amazing is that about 100 people came to watch and take part in graduation, despite the chilling cold. I will post more pictures on my profile page.