I was hoping to get there early and get a great seat but traffic through Portland was HORRIBLE (as in stopped) so we walked in during the opening video. We were standing in the back when Jim Dugan (Class Supervisor) saw us and told us we could sit right up front even though it said reserved. Needless to say, we probably had some of the best seats in the house right in front which provided us with some great pictures of the dogs graduating.
After the ceremony, we (my husband and I) were able to meet Donata and her new partner. We weren't sure if Doanta would remember who we where (even though we had her quite a bit) but she did. :) As we were walking up to her, she started with the tail then it became the full body shake: We didn't even have to say her name! Needless to say, it pretty much made my heart melt knowing she remembered. My leader introduced us to her new partner and I asked if I could say hi to Donata which she said, "Of Course!"
Now I'm not sure what kind of shampoo they use down at Guide Dogs, but Donata had to have been the BEST smelling dog there. Shoot, she didn't even smell like a dog! Her hair was so fluffy and soft (she's a cross so 1/2 Golden, 1/2 Lab) and she looked beautiful in harness.
It was so good to hug and see her (even though it was short). If you have never been to a graduation, I HIGHLY recommend it. It makes raising a puppy come full circle and to be able to hear from the blind people who get these dogs how much of a HUGE change they make in their lives.
The first two are of just her and the last two are of us. She was being her normal "I don't want to look at the camera" self. Some things never change with those dogs. :)