Monday, June 29, 2009

I could never...

I think you all know what I'm talking about. The much hated expressions we get regularly from the public along the lines of "I could never do that! I love dogs too much!" or "Isn't it hard to give them up?" or something along those lines.

There isn't really a good answer either. Many of them have talked to raisers before and know our "payment" is the love the dogs give us while they're with us, seeing the dogs develop into amazing dogs and ultimately seeing the bond they have with their handlers and how they open the world for them.

I never thought of doing this while raising for GDB but sometimes I am REALLY tempted to say to people when they say something along those lines something like "oh, I'm not giving her up, she's in training to help me". While I do not need a SD it'd still be fun as even if the conversation ended there it could educate them about invisible disabilities that warrant an SD. However, it could also give them the idea of bringing a pet into public under the guise of being an SD or an SDIT. I would never do such a thing as it's a major lie but sometimes I'm not in the mood to deal with people telling me that I love dogs less than them when they don't know me or anything about what I'm doing.

How do you deal with these annoying questions? Since I know we all get them!

Ally w/ Teddy & Kira


  1. This made me laugh as it made me think of all those things I 'want' to say to those people who say that. Personally, I really only get offended if they say I would love them too much. It's when they add that word love that I have a problem. Why, I'm not sure. Anyway, sometimes I wanna say, well, then we both know I'm a better person! HA HA I wouldn't ever, but, that doesn't mean I can't think it! :D

  2. When people ask me how I can give my puppy up, I can just say that it isn't as hard for me because I only get them on the weekends. It's true, it is much easier. I really don't have the experience of raising a full-time service dog yet, so I don't know exactly how it feels. Though I did have Barrett full time for quite a few months, but still, I didn't have him full-time when he was young. I was struck how much I bonded with him when he was sick though. That sure made it harder to give him up.
    It doesn't bother me that much when people ask me how I can give them up, but then I don't think I get it as much as you do. But really, I sometimes wonder what I should say. I can't say that "it's the thought that they will be doing something to change some else's life" because it makes it sound like it is easy to give them up. Oh well. I don't really know what to say......

  3. I guess I should share what I say /grin/ It really only bugs me when they say they love them too much as well, but right before or after a swap even aksing how I can give them up is also really frustrating. Sometimes I want to say "I have to, I signed a contract" but never do. Usually I just get a slight smile and say the only reason I can is because I've seen working dogs with their handlers and it's an amazing thing to see.

    If they're really bratty about it I usually just ignore them /grin/ not the nicest thing but it's nicer than me answering them and they get the hint!

  4. I have a whole list somewhere of possible answers to that question (not that I'd be brave or eloquent enough to ever use most of them).

    For the most part, I usually just try to explain that graduation makes it all worth it. Some people somewhat understand that (I don't think you can fully understand it until you've been a puppy raiser) and of course there are others who just don't want to understand regardless of what you say.

    I wanted to comment on this specifically because my sister and I were out at the mall with F&F last week, and a lady came up to chat about them. After some time she asked the dreaded question "Won't it be hard to give them up?" We had already talked for quite a while about how great service dogs were and what all they could do, so this time I basically just said "Yes, it'll be hard, I'll cry, it's worth it." We talked for a while longer, and as we were parting the lady said, "you girls are doing a wonderful thing, and those dogs are really going to change someone's life, so just remember that when they have to leave and you're crying." It was so nice to know that someone actually understood the bigger picture!

  5. My best response is that what we do is similar to raising a child and then sending him off to college. It's hard but the job of a "parent" is to prepare their child to leave and live their dream. And canines like humans need a purpose.

  6. I have said that I love this dog so much that I can let her go and grow to be the service dog I know she can be. Even thought I am sad it is so worth it when you watch your puppy doing what it was breed to do

  7. We say a lot of things, really depends on the person *wink*. If it's just in passing we say, well, we know from the start it's what we're going to do; it's worth it when you see what she can do for her future graduate. If we have more time and/or the person's really interested then we usually try to compare it to raising a child--though most people really don't get anything you say--sometimes you get someone who understands! =)

  8. I am partnered with a wonderful Golden service dog and really enjoy reading your blog. Puppy raisers rock! I volunteered with the program that trained her and helped at the monthly puppy raiser outings and classes for over two years before we were partnered. I'm very impressed with your program.

    The public is funny. When I'm just using my cane, I still get asked "are you training her"? Um, no she is my helper. I'd like to assume that they are so blown away by my awesome service dog that they don't notice the cane!

    The best was when we were with another service dog friend, practicing at the airport and I was using my scooter. This guy starts talking to me and asks if I'm using the scooter to train them. Um, no this is my scooter and this is my service dog. He was very apologetic but I thought it was kinda funny.

  9. I kinda get annoyed with hearing this question over and over. Especially when they say "Isn't it hard to give them up?" I want to say "Well, of course it is, dummy!" My usual response is "I may want(insert name here) but I don't need him like someone else does. Knowing that(insert name here) will be helping someone outweighs the sadness."