Brian the Boxer and Casey the Lab want to come inside.
Ben (the neighbour’s dog, visiting) wants to go into the garden.
But there’s Chip..
Chip (our Burmese cat) lies in the doorway, relaxed, sleepy, but it’s his hidden potential that keeps 2 dogs in the garden and 1 dog in the kitchen.
These then are the advantages a cat has over a dog:
Nails like Wolverine.
Speed like The Flash.
And the ruthlessness of Darth Vader.
Yet we love our cats. And they tolerate us.
I met Mary on a walk yesterday. Only one dog, she usually walks at least two, but Judy has come of age and has gone off for assessment and hopefully training as a Medical Detection assistance dog. Mary is one of the many good people who start the puppies off providing them with a loving home and good basic training and then part with them, not without a little heartbreak. It is impossible not to get attached – and this counts for both sides. Mary has already said that she will take Judy on as a pet should she not be suited to the working life. Not only does Mary train the occasional pup, she is also a great fundraiser and is planning a trek through the Grand Canyon to raise funds for the Medical Detection Dog Society.
We have a lot of assistance dogs in the practice. Dogs helping visually impaired people, hearing dogs for deaf people, dogs helping to detect the onset of seizures, dogs helping to get the washing out of the washing machine, dogs visiting care homes and hospitals to give and get cuddles. Amazing dogs doing amazing things with and for their amazing owners and carers.
We know a number of owners who live with retired assistance dogs. Yes, dogs go into retirement too – usually with a pretty good, well deserved retirement plan! We know a lovely retired ‘explosives detection dog’, Toby – I’ll tell you more about him soon.
Toby – retired explosives detection dog. Quiet and strong, loves to swim.
I am planning a journalistic expedition to follow up the lives of a few of these great guys. Mary has just got the ball rolling.