It’s Graduation Day for the dogs on the season finale of Pick of the Litter.
Last time on Pick of the Litter, Tulane, Paco, and Tartan were each paired with a visually impaired person. With graduation day right around the corner, will the dogs bond with their person?
What happens in Pick of the Litter Episode 6?
The episode begins rather tragically as Kendal finds it difficult to work with Tartan. She admits that she “always struggled with finding locations and space.”
It comes as a tough decision, but Kendal’s relationship with Tartan comes to an end. Darren Walsh Training Class Supervisor at Guide Dogs for the Blind explained, “When we first started matching Kendal with Tartan, and she was working with the dog, we noticed some orientation and mobility limitations, and that ultimately led to the point where we had to make a decision about ending the relationship with her and Tartan.”
But this experience does anything but deter Kendal. After she returns home, she became more driven to improve so she could get a dog again.
“I really do need to get some more orientation and mobility if I’m going to be successful, keeping me and the dog safe.”
Kendal works with her O&M instructor Charlotte Simpson an O&M Trainer, who teaches “people who are blind or visually impaired how to develop orientation techniques and how to develop auditory skills. So that she (Kendal) can use her hearing for orientation, and she’ll know where she’s going so, she can give her dog the right commands to get there.”
Kendal practices inside and outside her home, to orient herself with her surroundings. All of her hard work pays off as the show states she “has been accepted into Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Orientation and Mobility Immersion Program.”
Meanwhile, Tartan gets assigned to Guide Dogs for the Blind Client, Olivia Merz. She was born with glaucoma and has wanted a guide dog for years.
She has been using a cane and later expresses how she has “gone a long time without feeling very independent.”
Tartan and Olivia meet, and the bond is instant.
Olivia excitedly states, “I’m looking forward to going into my junior year of college. With Tartan, I think it’s just gonna feel so much more confident around campus.”
Both Claire and Eva have been working with Tulane and Paco, learning their personalities and having new experiences. Claire has already given Tulane numerous nicknames, and Eva finds she can trust Paco more every day.
While Tartan, Tulane, and Paco are on the path to Graduation Day, Pacino continues to struggle with Jeff Grey.
Pacino has a hard time moving forward, becoming unreliable. This behavior is alarming as Jeff explains, “We’re looking for that willingness to do these things in tough situations, over and over again and be reliable. When we give a command, we expect the dog to execute that command, unless it’s unsafe.”
Due to these behaviors, Pacino is career changed. Pacino’s puppy raisers Kiel and Crystal are sad but not surprised that Pacino was career changed.
After some deliberation, they decide to bring him back home.
On Graduation Day, the puppy raiser families for Tulane, Tartan, and Paco arrive to meet the person their dogs have been paired with. It’s a joyous reunion of pictures, smiles and tail wags.
From an audience perspective, it’s heartwarming to see the puppy raising families to spend time with the dogs again.
At the beautiful graduation ceremony, Claire, Olivia, and Eva stand before the crowd with their dog and the puppy raising families to make heartfelt speeches.
The process of getting a dog prepared for graduation day, which will change the lives of many, is a collective effort. Hearing the emotional speeches and witnessing how the dogs have affected their lives is already powerful.
It’s amazing what one dog is capable of doing for their human counterpart.
As the season finale draws to a close, a montage of photos of the dogs when they were born until the present are shown to the tune of a catchy song.
The show explains that Amara passed her training and is ready to get matched with a person. Raffi’s distractability caused his career to be changed from a possible guide dog to a pet.
Kendal’s dreams may still come true as can re-apply for a guide dog having passed the immersion program.
What did you think of Pick of the Litter Episode 6? Leave your answers in the comment section below!
Pick of the Litter is streaming on Disney Plus.