If you may have noticed I’ve been doing a countdown the last number of days. Well today is finally the day. I think we have successfully pulled off the BEST surprise ever for our son, Matthew.
You may or may not know that Matthew is a huge (and I mean HUGE) fan of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. Matthew has watched his show and practiced his techniques for as long as he has been around dogs. So much so that his relationship with canine’s has earned him the nickname of The Dog Whisperer.
Many months ago we heard that Cesar was doing a Canadian tour and his last stop was to be in Halifax; 5 hours away from us. We were determined to get Matthew to his seminar. Unfortunately when the tickets went on sale, it wasn’t meant to be. We just couldn’t swing it. So we waited. By the time we were able to get the tickets we didn’t have the best choices left. There were seats available but they were pretty far back from the stage. As much as we were willing to buy tickets we felt it would be a waste of money, time and vacation days to take Matthew to an event like this and have him down back of the Metro Centre where he is only going to focus on all the people around and in front of him instead of his idol whom he longs to meet in person.
I voiced my concerns to a group of friends and they started helping me out with ideas. “Write to Cesar’s website”, one said; “Check Kijiji” said another. And the ideas continued. My friends and family know that this would truly be a dream come true for Matthew.
A few weeks ago I received a message from a friend of mine who said her husband might be able to get access to closer seats for us to purchase. You can only imagine how over the moon I was. I anxiously waited by my computer to hear back from her and sure enough there were tickets he could get for us to purchase on the floor, second section back from the centre stage. I was on cloud nine. In the meantime I did do up an email for Cesar’s website and to Canadian Tire (as a major sponsor) explaining our story and wondering if the show held back “good” tickets that could be purchased closer to the time of the seminar. What did I have to lose? Not surprisingly, I heard nothing back from either.
No worries. The tickets were purchased and we were going to see The Dog Whisperer. As we still had a couple of weeks before the show we decided to say nothing to Matthew. This was going to be a surprise and if we told him right now the next couple of weeks would be chaotic. It would be hard for him to focus and the excitement could be worn off by then.
Fast forward to a week ago Saturday past. I am in the parking lot of my office waiting with Mike and Marcus for our Santa Claus Parade to begin. I get a Facebook message from my friend whose husband so graciously found us some tickets. She was wondering what our plans were for after the show. Would we be staying in Halifax or returning home that night? I messaged back explaining that we were staying in Halifax overnight. Another message from her asked if it would be out of line for her to offer us our hotel accommodations for the night through the company her husband works with. To say I was floored is an understatement. I couldn’t even begin to conceptualize the generosity. I excitedly told Mike of their offer and graciously accepted. This was a dream come true for us, as well.
A little while later (maybe 20 minutes), just before the parade was to start, my BlackBerry buzzes again. An email. From Cesar Millan Live.
Thank you very much for your email and for sharing your story with us. Although we are unable to sell you three tickets closer to the stage we would be very happy to give you three complimentary VIP tickets and also arrange a meet and greet with Cesar for you, your husband and your son prior to the start of the seminar. It is always very heart warming to read when Cesar has such a positive effect on someone and I know Cesar would like to meet Matthew very much.”
The email went on to explain that someone would be in touch to set everything up and they hoped we enjoyed the seminar. WHAT just happened??!?!
I was jumping up and down and screaming. I don’t know if Mike thought someone died or what but I could hardly get it all out in one breath to him. Of course, me being me, I had to email her back immediately just to verify that I was indeed reading what I thought I was reading. It all just seemed to good to be true. In a half and hour I went from having 3 tickets to having 6 tickets, 3 of which were VIP and Matthew was really going to meet his idol. Let’s not forget the complimentary hotel accommodations as well. Too, too much to absorb.
Within ten minutes I received another email from Cesar’s people. Yes, I read correctly. Everything will be set up and we are going to have this happen. Holy crap!! I can’t tell you what was going through my mind. This is so so much more than I ever could have imagined. Never in a million years did I ever expect someone from Cesar Millan Live to read the email let alone respond to it – and especially not in the way they responded.
Once the shock and excitement wore off we thought about the 3 tickets we had purchased. As much as we could use the money this close to Christmas there was no way I was going to go and look for a refund after my friends going through all the trouble of making them available to us. It wasn’t happening. We were going to pay this wonderful unexpected treat forward as best as we could.
Once I found out for sure that everything was in place through Cesar’s side of things I set out to make someone else just as happy as we were. The first 2 choices I had were unfortunately unable to accept our treat due to circumstances beyond their control. My third choice (after she realized what we were up to) was ecstatic!! It was like we both won the lotto at the same time! She was thrilled to be going (and still beyond thrilled for Matthew), we were thrilled the tickets were going to go to good use and everyone was happy.
Now here we are. The day of. Matthew knows nothing. By the time this is posted we will have told him. Our plan (evil as it is), is to get him up for school as we always do. Then, once he’s had his breakfast then we’ll let the cat, or should I say dog out of the bag. He’s going to go ballistic. We will tell him about attending the seminar. The meet and greet is going to remain a surprise until we get there and make sure plans are still all a-go.
Stop and think for a minute of what it would mean for you to meet your idol if you haven’t already had that chance. It’s certainly not something that happens to people every day, that’s for sure. And to be able to meet your idol at the hand’s of your idol making it happen is just….well, it’s like an Oprah Moment. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to people like us. It’s overwhelming, it’s humbling and it’s so very very gracious. I don’t know how we’ll ever thank those who have made this happen enough. There are no words that seem adequate. This is better than the lotto and Disney combined for Matthew.
It really is his Dream Come True.
Stay tuned for his reaction. I’m sure I’ll have lots to share when we arrive home.
Until next time…