Don's phone call made my heart race. He said, "Dan! A very well known author by the name of Patricia Cornwell has not only supplied the Guide Horse Foundation with some horse's she also has sponsored you!" He went on to tell me that they had chosen a horse for me. He also told me the name of the Guide Horse that would change my life. "Her name is Cuddles" he said. He then told me that Janet would be doing all of Cuddles training. He then asked "So, what do you think of that Dan?" I remember replying," What do I think about that? I think that is Awesome!!"
From that day forward I called at least once a week for updates, sometimes even more. I would ask how her training was doing, or what she had learned that day. Sometimes I would just learn more about her personality. I do not mind to say I was very excited and very ready to have Cuddles in my life.
Then exactly one year to the day on March 6th, 2001, I sat on a plane waiting to fly to the Burleson's in North Carolina to meet Cuddles for the very first time.
When the plane landed in North Carolina the stewardess asked me if I would mind staying seated until everyone had left the plane. I sat there while everyone departed. My thoughts raced as I began realizing what this meant to my life. I remembered the year of waiting and dreaming. Then I began wondering if Cuddles would like me if we would fit together. Then my mind went to the Burleson's would they like me? Could it all come true? Would she, could she keep me safe and also could I keep her safe and give her what she needs, the way she should be kept.
Just then a really nice lady who was a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines asked me is you're name Mr. Shaw? I replied "Yes it is". She then told me there was a lot of media people waiting for you. She then said I met Cuddles and she is in side with the Burleson's and she is so beautiful".
As I walked out I began to hear the sounds of camera's clicking and people mumbling. Then out of the crowd I heard a familiar voice, it was Janet Burleson. She said, "Hi Dan, welcome to North Carolina!" She then said, "Dan, Cuddles is here right beside me".