4 min read

‘Super Calm’ Dog Forgets All His Training When He Sees His Teacher Again

“Seeing him lose his mind when he saw me made me cry” ❤️️

You never forget your favorite teacher. And it’s no different for animals.

Elijah was just an 8-week-old puppy when he traveled to Colorado to live with Ashley Wilt, a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), which helps train service dogs. For nearly two years, Elijah went everywhere with Wilt, learning to be confident and calm in all situations.

Elijah the service dog as a puppy
Ashley Wilt Pet Photography

“I train over 30 commands and socialize the puppy in all situations, such as in malls, restaurants, movie theaters and even in airplanes,” Wilt told The Dodo. “Elijah went on over 25 flights with me.”

Like any good teacher, Wilt helped guide the tiny puppy toward adulthood with patience and compassion. Then, in February, Elijah was finally ready to finish his training. But after all the time they spent together, saying goodbye was heartbreaking for both the student and the teacher.

Elijah says goodbye to his trainer Ashley Wilt
Ashley Wilt Pet Photography

Elijah traveled to California to finish his training, and six months' later, he was ready to graduate. Wilt was so proud of the pup she helped raise, but she knew something was missing — their reunion. So she booked a plane ticket.

And as soon as Wilt walked into Elijah’s graduation ceremony, it was clear the dog felt the same way.

Elijah the service dog reunites with his trainer
Ashley Wilt

“Elijah is usually a super calm dog, so seeing him lose his mind when he saw me made me cry,” Wilt said. “It was six months worth of built-up emotions that all just came out, for both of us.”

“I was just so happy to hold him again and tell him how unbelievably proud I am of him,” Wilt added. “Seeing how he is changing lives makes all of the heartbreak worth it.”

Ashley Wilt

You can watch their touching reunion here:

Elijah has since found his forever home with Lance Weir, a Marine Corps reservist veteran. While the dog will always have a special place in his teacher’s heart, she’s so happy Elijah is making a difference for his new dad.

Elijah kisses his new dad Lance Weir
Ashley Wilt Pet Photography

“[Weir] has already fallen in love with Elijah and they go on adventures together all the time,” Wilt said. “They truly are a perfect fit for each other and it has been a dream come true as Elijah’s puppy raiser to see him fulfill his purpose in life.”

To learn how to get involved with CCI and help children, adults and veterans with disabilities receive a service dog free of charge, you can visit their website.