Written By Amie Chapman
I knew from the time we brought Oscar home that he was going to be an exceptional dog one day. After having the opportunity to spend some time with him during my recent trip to Washington and Brigadoon Service Dogs. It was great to see that he is still on the path to becoming a service dog.
During the last 3 years that Matt and I have been involved with Brigadoon Service Dogs we have always made it to their big yearly fundraiser dinner and auction. The first year we went we had Penny. We were still very new to the organization and we really wanted to know more about them and the community that supports them. Last year we went with Oscar as our puppy in training and turned him in so he could enter the prison program. We also presented Paddington and Scarlett as donated puppies from Growing Up Guide Pup.
Even though this year I wasn’t raising a Brigadoon puppy, I still really wanted to go and show my support. Matt was planning on going with me, but the CEO of Bellator invited him to setup a booth at the MMA fight to educate the attendees on service dogs. This event was the same night as the auction so my friend Cory made the trip up to Washington with me while Matt continued to grow our connections in the Bay Area.
For this trip I didn’t bring Pixie with me. it was a nice chance for me to have a few days off from training with her. But of course I found myself wanting to have to have a four legged date to the Gala. So I asked Denise if I could borrow a dog in training from the Brigadoon kennel for the evening. As luck would have it, Oscar was at the kennels and I was allowed to borrow him.
It was a year since I had seen Oscar and he was still a pretty young puppy. When I went to pick him up from the kennel I was super excited to see him. He grew a lot, but was still the same goofy and happy boy. He was really excited to see me and he hopped right in the car and was ready to go for an adventure
I took him back to my hotel room while I got ready for dinner. I was able to help set up the event earlier in the day, and then fed Oscar afterwards in the room. As soon as he finished eating he carried his bowl around the room, just like he did as a puppy when we had him.
As we entered the event it was very clear how much Oscar had grown and matured in the last year. He was poised, focused and looking like a seasoned veteran. We made the rounds and talked with people and made some bids on the auction items before sitting at our table. We also ran into other workers and volunteers for Brigadoon. It was very clear that Oscar had made great friendships and bonds while at Brigadoon. The entire night Oscar was a very well behaved boy and he got many compliments.
After the event it was time for me to take him back to the kennel and say goodbye. Last year when I dropped him off I was much more emotional. We were not just handing Oscar over, but Paddington as well. This year I felt very different. After spending the evening with Oscar, I felt a sense of pride and excitement. The once little wiggly, excited puppy that was so eager to learn was now a mature, ready to work and still eager dog. Oscar is in the final stages of training and if all goes according to plan, he will be graduating in a few short weeks. He is a huge reminder of why I love puppy raising service dogs. I loved raising Oscar. He was everything I look for in a puppy as a raiser. To have a chance to see him one last time before he heads out to his forever home was a huge gift. I’m so proud of him and how he has grown. I can’t wait for him to start team training with his partner and hear about all their adventures together.