Right before graduation we got to meet the sweet lady that raised Diesel as a puppy. She was responsible for potty training him, teaching him to sleep under tables, and to wear his service vest with pride. She loved Diesel. She cried when she met Peter and was touched that she had been raising Diesel for Peter although she had never met him. She prepared a sweet book showing Peter all the pictures she had taken along the way and was so encouraging to him. She lives in a small town in Montana and she showed Peter that Diesel had been raised on a farm like land with horses and beautiful surroundings. She was happy that he was coming to Arizona because she visits here from time to time. She encouraged Peter to lead Diesel with confidence. She told Peter she was excited that Diesel was going to college. She told him that Diesel would love his new adventure.

I am starting to understand why this endeavor was important for us to do together. I am starting to understand why I needed this class as much as Peter needed it. I am beginning to see why I have been feeling so pushed in my own perspective. I think we get used to performing a specific way in life and we don’t really take the time to re-evaluate whether it is still appropriate or not until we get a new light shed upon the subject.  A new light shed upon an old subject can make you feel defensive, like you need to protect yourself from the insight that is staring you in the face. It can make you feel like if you admit that doing things a different way may make you wrong in how you have been doing things. Why are we so attached to our own way of doing things? Why must we judge ourselves as right or wrong? Why can’t I just get over myself and change? Why am I so enmeshed with my perspective? 

As we leave Oregon with our new dog I leave with a new perspective. One that will challenge me for a while I am sure. One that I will have to work on to not feel defensive or like a failure over but will use to guide my steps. Getting a new perspective is hard! Allowing it to be an agent of change in your life is challenging. But I am thankful for the challenge. Although the last several weeks have pushed me beyond my comfort zone I am grateful that I opened myself up to it. I have remarked several times this trip was one of the most difficult, eye opening, and personally exhausting adventures I have ever taken. I have never questioned more why I opened myself to it. In fact it hurt me a bit living here. I felt at times crushed. I have been exhausted from giving and wished I had the comforts I am used too.  But through all of that I have grown in new ways. Ways I have needed to grow. I have grown on my own, without being with Jeff, family, or friends. I think that is what was also difficult but I believe that is what made it more self-reflective. I had no one else to push the growth on. And now on to new insights and growth…