Team Jirby: “New Family”
By: Jill Anderson
Kirby’s puppy raiser is his Puppy Mama!
Her name is Jennifer Beuhler. I never anticipated meeting Kirby’s puppy raiser and then instantly becoming family! On the day of Graduation I had no idea of what I was about to experience as Kirby and I waited to greet his puppy raiser. My heart was beating as I had heard stories of other puppy raisers, but this was live and in person! Kirby and I heard the knock at the door in our GDA dorm room. We had prepared for the graduation ceremony, and this was the last detail before we walked on the stage. There are no words to describe what this experience except that my heart was racing!
After hearing the knock, I opened the door and was greeted by the most loving family. Kirby was so excited to see his Puppy Mama Jennifer! They hugged and kissed. I met Jennifer and her family and we talked about our experiences as a guide dog team and what it was like for Jennifer to raise this special puppy named Kirby. Jennifer’s entire family had been dedicated to supporting the raising of Kirby. So much goodness surrounded this special dog. I had the utmost respect for the dedication of time, love and effort that Jennifer and her family had given.
We met again on stage at graduation. When I heard Jennifer’s speech the realization of true sacrifice and love flooded my soul. The sincere integrity of GDA surrounded Kirby and all of our guide dogs. The commitment to the perfect match of Puppy Raisers and Guide Dog Teams is what makes GDA so special. This perfect match is the core of what brings confidence and independence to the blind and visually impaired. Truly a modern day miracle! Thank you Guide Dogs of America!
Editor’s Note: This blog was written by recent graduate Jill Anderson of class #400. She will be continually keeping us up to date on her new journey with her guide Kirby, appropriately named team “Jirby.” Be sure to check back for more updates on team Jirby as the adventures continue on.