What happens when you combine three Great Danes, over twenty strangers, a table loaded with tasty food and a home overflowing with hospitality? It’s a Southern Sunday Stew in Georgia and that’s where I spent one of my most enjoyable afternoons, ever.
Over twenty Service Dog Project followers and supporters, known as Camera People, or CPs, gathered on Sunday afternoon at the home of Tizzy and Boo, two Great Danes formerly of SDP, who now call Georgia their home. Guests came from all parts of Georgia and as far away as Chattanooga, TN; many driving over two hours to be part of this special gathering. Tizzy and Boo’s Dane friend Charlie even brought her CP family to the Stew.
While the explore.org camera view of Puppy Hill played on a large screen TV, new friends laughed, hugged and exclaimed as they finally met members of the SDP chat board in person. “It’s like old friends getting together again,” and “This reminds me of visiting with cousins,” were two of the comments I heard many times as people chatted about their common interest in Service Dog Project. It was amazing to see a group of strangers enjoying being together and feeling at ease so quickly. Part of the credit for the friendly atmosphere goes to the Great Danes who “worked the room” (as Carlene – founder of Service Dog Project – would say), making sure each guest had a chance to pet, admire, and pose for photos with them.
After eating, chatting, and taking group photos, everyone wanted to visit longer but it was getting late and many of us had a long drive ahead. So, with more hugs and promises to “see you on SDP chat” we gave the Danes one last pat and said goodbye.
Every time I log in to the explore.org camera controls I marvel at the fact that I have the amazing opportunity to be a camera operator. Nevertheless, meeting my fellow CPs and feeling the instant camaraderie with so many people easily equals the pleasure I get from operating the cameras. So my advice is this: if you are a CP, don’t hesitate to get together with other CPs in your local area. It’s more than worth the effort!
– Becky, explore.org volunteer camera operator and Service Dog Project CP