Hannah says it’s for the Gold Award. I say it’s for the puppy. You decide.
I saw it first on a Facebook post by one of my granddaughters. “Hannah Claire Kelly is going to get a dog!!! SO HAPPY, life is good.” Could it be really be? I thought any chance of that was kyboshed many years ago. But as I read the FB comments to her post, I realized it wasn’t a done deal; at least not yet.
Hannah has been an avid girl scout for the last nine years. She also has a very special connection with dogs. If it had been up to her, there would have been a family dog for all of the fifteen years of her life. But after Mandy—a pet golden retriever who died when Hannah was seven—her parents said, “No more dogs.”
Hannah could have lived with that decision. That is until she read the story about a young lady who had trained a guide dog. It was the featured story in The Golden Link, a monthly magazine published by the Girl Scouts. The Texas teenager provided a foster home for a nine-week-old puppy; raising him until he was sixteen months old. During that time, she taught the dog 40+ commands and exposed him to many types of social situations. For this community service, she received The Gold Award—the highest honor you can receive as a Girl Scout.
Hannah had worked hard for her bronze and silver award. Now she knew how to get the gold. But the biggest hurdle to getting a dog (a golden retriever or a lab) would be her dad.
Determined to make it a reality, she put together a 22-slide PowerPoint Presentation, which took her two-and-a-half weeks. Her goal: To convince her dad that she should be a “puppy raiser.” (See attached copy.) He was impressed with her creativity and due diligence. However, this would be a major commitment for the family. So he said that he would have to think on it.
Four days later, he told Hannah that the jury had made their final decision. Was she ready for it? Her hopes hit rock bottom, when she saw his deadpanned expression. Then he announced his verdict, “I know you will have many obstacles ahead of you. But I won’t be one of them. You have my approval to send in your application to be a foster mother for a potential “dog of service.”