National Guide Dog Month – Poor Dog…

This is harder than I thought it would be. It’s tough to think of topics to write about each day of the month. I’m only on like day four, and am already beginning to wonder if it is even worth my time. I like educating people about service dogs and dispelling some of the myths surrounding what the public thinks a service dog should be, but it’s really hard to think about what I should write that isn’t written somewhere else already.

If you have any questions for me or about service dogs in general please post them in the comments section and I’ll gladly take a moment to write about them.

So…now….what to write about today….

“Poor dog…”

The above comment is one I hear almost every day. It seems as though people think Cessna works day and night. It’s like they think she’s my slave.

In reality, Cessna works only in public places. And on average works less than 20 hours in a week.

Yes, there are weeks when I may need her to work more, but these are very rare. During those weeks, I spoil her with tasty treats and make sure to maximize the fun-factor during her “time off”.

Most days, Cessna is a couch potato.

She loves to get as much sleep as possible, even on days when she’s done nothing at all, you’ll be sure to find her curled up on our queen-sized pillow top mattress or sprawled out in the middle of the couch.

When she isn’t sleeping, Cessna loves to chase squirrels, birds, chipmunks and even Canyon when he’s retrieving a ball. I know guide dogs aren’t “supposed” to be chasing small critters, but Cessna isn’t your “typical” guide dog.

Cessna isn’t afraid to tell me when she needs a day off either. If she sees me getting ready to go somewhere, she’ll watch intently and if she isn’t in the mood, then I will usually find her pretending to nap on the bed. This is honestly a welcome change from the days I worked with Phoenix, because even if I wanted to leave him home, it just wasn’t going to happen.

Maybe there are service dogs out there who work non-stop, but this is definitely not Cessna.

Most times I will just ignore someone who makes the comment “poor dog…”, but on the rare occasion I have been known to stop and ask the commenter a few questions.

Me: “do you have a dog?”

Joe Public: “Yes.

Me: “May I ask where he or she is?”

Joe Public: “At home.”

Me: “Poor dog.”

Joe Public: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I feel bad for your dog having to sit home alone, while Cessna is out with me having a great time.”

At this point, the person usually just gives me a strange look (why do people give blind people dirty looks?) and walks away.

But, there are those, who will continue on trying to argue that their dogs are much happier than Cessna because they are not expected to “work all the time”.

At this point, I will usually ask them what they think she does, when we’re at home.

This usually makes them think a moment, and I will continue on my way because I’m not interested in listening any more.

In an earlier post, I wrote about an article I had read regarding PETA and their feelings surrounding service dogs.

There are other interesting comments I’ve heard during my public excursions with Cessna, but I’ll keep those for future posting.

Comments

  1. Hi Y’all,

    Lucky Cessna! Lucky you! I’ve always said that service dogs are the luckiest dogs on the planet and think I’ll post something about it tomorrow and link back to you.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. Ushi is a lazy lump too. If she hasn’t been working she’ll sleep too, and when we’re playing, she’ll be like “you threw it, go get it!” after a while.

    I think of Ushi’s harness like a coat-we only wear our coats when we go out, and Ushi only whears her harness when we go out. At any stage of the training here they withdraw the dog if it just doesn’t seem to be enjoying the work.

    I know when ushi works she’ll wag her tail, and most of the time it’s up. Xxx and great post!

  3. most dogs are bored out of their skulls, and their people have no idea.

  4. Thanks so much Hawkeye!

    Tori, Ushi sounds so much like Cessna, it’s hilarious!

    Sharon, you’re so right! I actually feel bad for my goldens because they don’t get to come out with me all the time like Cessna and Rogue do. That’s why I try and bring them whenever we have a chance to go somewhere “pet friendly”.

  5. Haha yeah I agree with this post. I overheard someone make that same comment when I was out with Willow this morning. Never mind that she hasn’t been in jacket in 3 weeks because she’s not been well, and I won’t work a sick dog.

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