The last day of camp is wildly bittersweet. We have some of our most memorable activities, with campers and dogs moving as partners and doing things they could not have imagined doing on Day One. And then, having achieved this, we have to say goodbye.
Today we woke up from our sleepover and made breakfast for ourselves. Then we cleaned the barn — it has to be spotless for graduation! Then we took a break for lunch.
After lunch we went to Encore Assisted Living, where we brightened everybody’s day by letting the residents visit with our dogs. Imagine trying to do this on Day One! The dogs entered a strange building, met a lot of people they did not know well, saw people in wheelchairs for the first time, saw older people possibly for the first time, encountered strange smells and strange sounds and everyone did quite well. We are so proud of our campers and our dogs, whose hard work made this possible! The residents always love visits, and today they particularly enjoyed the tiny puppies, Moana, Maui and Kane, who could sit on laps.
Graduation this session was in the rain, but even with the crowds and the rain on the roof everyone put on a spectacular performance, showing off all the skills they had learned over the last two weeks. We even managed a swimming demonstration!
Goodbye is always sad, although this session we did have several dogs leaving graduation directly to their new forever homes!