I was getting concerned that other handlers whose dogs are retiring next year got sent a copy of the replacement class schedule, but I hadn't heard anything. After following up on the matter, I discovered that Benny's name had not been on the list for retirement. Apparently, when they made the list, they only checked canine ages through the end of the fiscal year (which ended on September 30), not the calendar year. Since Benny's birthday is in October, he was overlooked.
By the time I made it known that Benny was supposed to retire too, half the replacement classes were already filled. The only two left (as of Friday) will be in March and August. I put in a request for March, but there's a chance that before my request gets up the chain, that one will be filled as well. If that happens, I'll be stuck with the August class. I don't particularly want to go in August, not only because I'm sure the weather will be unbearably hot in Georgia then, but also because I was hoping to leave that month free for potential summer vacation plans. (Still, it's probably better than waiting until January 2017.)
At any rate, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for March. I should fiind out soon.
In other news, I spent some time out in the garden today. I harvested a bunch of winter squash and planted the snap peas. I also harvested a couple of Golden Midget watermelons. The nice thing about this variety is that it turns yellow when ripe, so it's easy to know when to pick the fruit. The flavor of the one I tasted isn't spectacular, though. I'm planning to save the seeds, in case it cross-pollinated with one of the other three varieties that I was growing; I don't really have the space to do in-depth watermelon breeding, but I might grow out a couple just to see what happens.