Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a fabulous summer I know we have been. It has been very busy and on the go for the last couple of weeks with my husband on holidays. But today is the day that we get back to the grind of things.
I have had quite a few situations where people ask me if Rick likes to work and if he is happy. I have also had someone tell me that I should not have my dog out when it is so hot, and accused me of harming my dog because I would not accept his offer to go get water for my dog. He was not panting or hot.
I just want to take some time to clarify some things about guide dogs. They are happy very happy, they live very fulfilling purposeful lives. They also have lots of down time and play time. They do not work 24 hours a day. When we are home Rick is out of harness and is a part of the family like our pet dog. Rick gets to run in the back yard and chew on his bones, play tug and cuddle with me and the kids. He gets belly rubs and occasional treats. So with that in mind please think again before you assume he is unhappy and living a miserable life. He is not forced to work, he loves working when you brig out the harness he gets so excited and puts his head throughout the harness with tail wagging raring to go. If at any time Rick did not love to work we would retire him.
If people really stopped and thought about the life of a Guide Dog they would realize that they have it better than some pets do. When you get up in the morning and get ready for work you feed your dog and leave. You come home at the end of the day and feed your dog play with them a little and maybe take them for a walk, repeat next day. (I am not implying your dogs are neglected) But the life of a Guide Dog is very different. Rick wakes up with me in the morning gets fed and water, we get the kids off to school and then our day begins we harness up and head out the door together, he runs errands with me, attends school meetings, attends the support group I run, comes shopping with me, comes to the movies, comes to the bar for wings, comes to my friends house for coffee. While he does all of these things throughout the day he is getting plenty of love, kibble, and affection. When we come home in the evening he gets fed and then it is play time he earned it. We will throw the ball in the back yard, play tug and let out that pent up energy, and then cuddle time while he rests I will get some things done around the house. After a long day of playing and working we are off to bed, Rick sleeps right beside my bed every night.
I tell you about a day in the life of Rick because I want people to know he loves to work, and he loves to play. He lives a very good life. I am also very conscious of when I take him out, when it is hot I will find a ride and he comes with me to the stores yes but he just came from a air conditioned vehicle , he wears boots when it is too hot for his paws, he wears a coat and boots in the winter to protect him. He is given plenty of water and food to sustain the hard work he does. And he is very much appreciated every minute of every day. I appreciate every thing that this dog does for me. My husband has even joked that I love Rick more than him and my kids. I worry about him like he is my husband or kids.
So please know Guide Dogs are loved and get to be dogs too !
Until Next Time !