One more lesson … preparing to say goodbye

Two very happy boys

Two very happy boys

Today I realized we only have three more sessions with Julian before he and his family moves from Nevada.

How do you prepare a young boy and a young dog for this separation?

Julian has been such an important part of our lives for over two years, meeting weekly and sharing so much of this crazy adventure we call life.

Benny just always knew what to do

Benny just always knew what to do

As Julian grew and progressed and developed into a fine young man, my dog Benny also grew and progressed and developed into an outstanding therapy dog.

Such peaceful bonding

Such peaceful bonding

When we began Benny was a good therapy dog but he became a better one for having known and loved Julian.

His understood his role was sometimes to encourage and motivate and celebrate.

Love poured out of each boy when they were together

Love poured out of each boy when they were together

His understood his role was ever changing, but always constant.

He understood his role was sometimes to just be there, supportive, nurturing, loving.

I had a long conversation with Benny.  How much of what I said he understood I don’t know, but I do know he was sad today. I told him we would always be part of Julian’s life but now he would have the joy of working with other dogs and new people and have new experiences. So it was all positive for his friend Julian.

Benny will be sad for a while I know

Benny will be sad for a while I know

Julian has an awesome family and the move can only bring greater opportunity for all of them. Julian will move on and continue to expand his knowledge and capabilities.

But what about Benny?

Dogs thrive on routine and for two years, every Thursday Benny knew he would see his friend.  I know he knew where he was going and I know he knew it mattered.

I knew Benny needed children in his life and this boy was his best friend. They had a different relationship than any other.

The best photo ever taken of Benny was looking at his friend

The best photo ever taken of Benny was looking at his friend

So as I create all sorts of books and memories for Julian to take with him to remember his time with Benny and the amazing work they did, I am also trying to figure out a way to help Benny get over his loss.

As we prepare to say goodbye to our dear friends, the Sanchez family, I know they will ease their sons through the move and any changes that come with it.

I know we will stay in touch.

Preparing Benny to say goodbye is as much a necessity as preparing Julian.

How I communicate that to a dog is now my greatest challenge.