Accessibility · Adaptive Parenting (an adventure itself) · Conversations with Kids · Through the Power of Sport

Dear Emerson Gronk Snowy Krill,

Just to give you an idea of your new living conditions…

Dear Emerson Gronk Snowy Krill,

Given your world class service dog status, I’m sure you also read, but if not, I’ll explain when you arrive.  Your new dad, my husband Geoff,  is on his way today to begin training with you as a pair at NEADS in Princeton, MA.  He is really excited for you to join our family, but I wanted you to have some forewarning if possible about what you were getting into.  You will be loved more fiercely than you can imagine right now in your quiet snug bed.  Your world will be colorful and full of light and sound and good energy.

The above photo will be your new crate, and we have already staked out our favorite things to share with you including: clean, un-put-a-way laundry, a football, a book about slime and some Greek myths, a skiing dog toy from our backyard family the Nestors, our son’s new birthday bazooka nerf gun, and your new winter coat, a gift from Katelynne. There are so very many people you haven’t met yet who are very excited for you to join our family.  Did you know that over 100 people wanted you to become Geoff’s partner that they donated money to NEADS to help to cover your training fees?  Together, we raised over $8000 in only about two months.  You are coming on board a team that works hard and plays hard and is surrounded by the best community of people ever.

Some things you should know about Geoff:

  1. He will keep you busy and loves his work profoundly working with all kinds of people, adults and children alike.
  2. He loves being outdoors, and we can take you on long walks in our neighborhood, chase balls in our tennis courts, hike in the White Mountain forest, play in the snow, and of course take long naps on the green, green grass in summer.
  3. He will bring you to his favorite places, including Gordi’s the restaurant which helped us to fund raise for you, Loon Mountain where he works in the winter and Squam Lake where he works in the summer– and everywhere we go as a family.
  4. His parents are bringing home a puppy the same weekend you finish up your training.  She doesn’t have a name yet and might be a little nippy at first, but we know you will be friends.
  5. My brother Greg’s family also got a puppy named Juniper over Christmas, who also can’t wait to welcome you to the family.  You could probably help to teach these two little ones a thing or two about behavior.
  6. Geoff has no idea how you are going to support him in all the ways you are able to through your NEADS training.  But I do, and I know you are also going to make my life easier, so I’ll be sure to give you a lot of love too.
  7.  Geoff has a sister, Allison, who lives in England with her husband Brian, and they Facetime with us all the time and can’t wait to meet you in person one day.
  8.  We’ve been waiting for you for a long time, and your dog bowls are ready, your bed is fluffed, and your coat hangs next to ours (metaphorically speaking as I’ve already pointed it out in the photo and it’s just laying on top of your crate).
  9. Geoff and I live in a small house which is not always neat or clean as it’s winter and we track in a lot of sand– but I can promise you–you will never feel warmer (we have a toasty wood stove) or happier than with us loving you.
  10. Thank you, Emerson Gronk Snowy Krill, for joining our family.  We know you are technically Geoff’s service professional, but we already love you too and can’t wait for you to get here.  Our pets included: Shelley, a 7 year old red eared slider turtle, a handful of goldfish and three other giant fish in two 50 gallon tanks.

Carver, our 8 year old son, gave you Gronk as a middle name after the Patriots’ superstar Gronkowski who is strong and brave and smart under pressure.  Greta, our 6 year old daughter, gave you Snowy as a middle name, because she knows intuitively how much you will love playing out in the white fluff that surrounds our world in the winter months.  Two of your cousin service dog friends, Earle and Jones, have given us some previews of what living with a NEADS dog is like through their blogs, written with help from their mothers Chris and Katelynne respectively.

Geoff is also going to meet your first trainer, the person who lived at the prison and raised you up from a pup.   I hear you will get to see him too this week, so please thank him for us, for the work he did in bringing you up to be thoughtful, compassionate, helpful, and reliable.  Maybe you can help Geoff and me to do the same with our children.

Your new family will see you soon, Emerson Gronk Snowy Krill.  Until then, take good care of Geoff while you are training.  We miss him too!

Love the rest of your new family,

Heather, Carver and Greta Krill

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