So, for the past month or so I’ve been sick. In fact, I think two thirds of my posts have been about that fact, but I am happy to report that I am, finally, better. As I told you last time, I was going to cancel my upcoming doctor’s appointment. I didn’t do that, because the nasty cough just wouldn’t go away and so I went in. My doctor didn’t know what was exactly wrong with me, but he said they would treat it like pneumonia and so he put me on very strong steroids and very strong antibiotics. For the rest of the week I laid in bed, coughed and felt miserable because of all the drugs, but they did the trick and my lungs are at last clear.
Seamus was very patient with me, spending time where ever I was and not complaining that we weren’t doing much in the way of working or playing. Some of my favorite time was lying there while he rested beside me, both of us enjoying the breeze from the fan in the corner of my room and me enjoying a good book. I love that my dog is so adaptable. Of course the steroids made me a complete emotional mess all last week, but they’re out of my system now and I am relieved to be my calm, happy self once more.
Now, my other reason for writing this post. it all started because I read an article about some New York city citizens who are buying service dog tags for their pet dogs and then taking them into public settings. I’ve written and discussed this topic on lots of doggy forums online before, and while I don’t have a problem with any nice dog out in public, I have a problem with the attitude of the people quoted in this article. They are so oblivious to the problems they are causing and what is more, they don’t care. They just want to bring their dog where ever they want to go and who cares about the consequences.
I think this pisses me off for three primary reasons. Firstly, their dog could be ill behaived and potentially cause a danger to me and my actual service dog. This is a real worry because if my dog were to be attacked and be traumatized, he could retire and there goes thousands of dollars and hours in training and oh yeah, there goes my eyes, time off work to train with a new dog and most importantly, grief at the loss of my friend and partner. Secondly, if the dog is dirty, disrupts people by barking or growling, not only can the dog be kicked out of what ever establishment it is in, and bye the way, this goes for service dogs as well, but it gives a bad impression of service dogs and their handlers and it may be even harder for me with my guide dog, to go into that place next time because some idiot ruined it for the rest of us. Finally, it’s the attitude of those who do this which makes me the most upset. They don’t care how it might effect those of us who use service dogs every day. To them, it’s just an opportunity to take their dog with them and it’s just fun. At bottom, it’s offensive for me because I need my dog. I need my dog because I can’t see. Do they realize what it would be like to travel without their sight? Do they know what a comfort and a confidence boost my dog traveling beside me is? No, they don’t. I’ve heard so many times from people who say, “Oh that’s so great to have your dog with you. I wish I could do that.” It’s this sentiment that could lead to them purchasing a service dog tag or vest and taking Rover out with them to get a loaf of bread and a quart of milk. It’s this disconnect between what they think a service dog does or is and what my dog actually does. I think it would help them understand if I blind folded them and put my dog’s harness handle in their hand and told them to trust that dog. Perhaps we wouldn’t have so many instances of this kind of thing if everybody got a chance to experience that.
It felt good to rant about that, and I’ve shared the article all over my facebook page so people are seeing it. I’m glad to be healthy and so glad to have my wonderful dog beside me. I’ll update you all next week as to how we’re doing and let you know if we have a handle on anything else. 🙂