I remember hearing that you can never go home again when I was quite little and not understanding it because, well we were always going home. Later I realized – duh – you can GO home (as many times as your parents will let you) but home isn’t just isn’t quite the same home you remember. There are a hundred similar examples – cartoons were on longer on Saturday’s when I was kid than they are now, fireworks were brighter and better at 10 years old versus 40, and when I was 12 summer felt like it was more like 3 years, not the three weeks it feels like now.

There has been a little extra spring in my step this week because we get to puppy sit our second puppy raised for Canine Companions – Lucinda and her CCI Skilled Companion friend Wuest. Several people have said “you must be excited that your girl is coming home.” Mmm – well yes and no. You see she isn’t my girl anymore, she isn’t coming home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have said a zillion times on this blog and in person that these dogs have a way of finding themselves in exactly the place. A wise friend once told me it is sort of like being a dentist – some people are meant to be dentists and some people aren’t. Canine Companion pups are just like that – some graduate, some don’t. In Lucinda’s case she didn’t. Instead she went to live with a dog that did, three awesome kids, and a mom and dad who love them all. Every time I see them together I know she is living the good life.

Don’t get me wrong we love her and she is a great dog. It is beyond nice to have her here for a visit. (She is the best bed snuggler ever.) Dave and I crack up seeing her doing her puppy zoomies in the figure eight pattern in the back yard, checking out the cat tree for any stray kitty kibble, and playing with the Bean like they never were apart. However as we get close to the end of our visits I know she is anxious to get back to her family – specifically her kids.

When Lucinda first went for a test run with her now fur-ever family, it wasn’t a unanimous vote to keep her. Eventually Lucinda one over the one little hold out – who is now her biggest fan. Tonight there were some tears when we were saying our good-byes. It almost broke my heart and yet it was filled at the same time. I was sad that one of the sweetest girls ever, who wasn’t sure of Lucinda to start with, who is about to go on a great family trip, was so sad to leave her puppy. But my heart swelled to know that someone loved Lu-Bugs as much as we do – and it is so so very clear that she loves them – maybe more than kibble!

Tonight Lucinda is not at her home, she is a very cherished guest our home.  She can’t come home again – at least not with us – because our home is not her home anymore. Her home is not just the greatest home and family a dog could have, it is the only home for her, it’s where she is supposed to be. Dave and I, and all puppy raisers, can’t ask for more than that.