Last night was Flicka’s official graduation from National Service Dogs. What a night!
NSD has been doing graduation night for years for its service dogs who are paired with children with Autism. Last night, for the first time, their dogs who are trained to work with individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were also honoured and participated in a graduation ceremony. Two “PTSD” dogs graduated this year: Elvis and Flicka!
The event, held at the Ayr Farmers Mutual Insurance Company Arena, North Dumfries Community Complex, was packed with NSD clients, their dogs, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, friends and family, and staff.
Following the graduation ceremony, a video montage was shown. Watching the video was emotional for me, and I now understand why NSD had placed a box of tissue paper at each banquet table. There was hardly a dry eye in the place!
My spouse had the idea of dressing Flicka up for her big night. At the dollar store, we were able to pick-up a pink feather boa and a Disney® crown. When Flicka was called up to the front of the room to be feted, she pranced up in her princess inspired outfit. I think most people at the ceremony enjoyed seeing Flicka in her “special” graduation outfit. A NSD staff member even remarked to me that Flicka looked like she was going to the prom. I bet you Flicka would enjoy a night at the prom!
Flicka really enjoyed seeing a lot of her old friends – the wonderful NSD volunteers (including her advanced training home sitter Gail) and staff. I was delighted that so many people got to spend time with Flicka last night and interact with her. On the car ride home, Flicka slept most of the way; She was wiped out!
Here are some photos from last night’s graduation ceremony: