What will happen to him?

This is a question I am asked at least once every time Strauss and I venture out of the house.  This question still catches me off guard, as I do frequently wonder what the inquirer thinks is ACTUALLY done with a service dog after it retires.  Do they think it’s shipped off to the shelter, or some commune for elderly and infirm assistance animals?  It is something to ponder.

In any event, dear readers, I can tell you exactly what will happen to Strauss the day I remove his harness for the last time.

Absolutely.  Nothing.

I have had this dog since he was 8 weeks old.  He is my partner, my defender….my dearest friend.  This dog will go nowhere.  The only thing that will change in his life is that when he goes out for an excursion in the van, it will be a pleasure ride, not a working one.  When he curls up on the couch after a long day, it will simply be because he will have been exhausted by my expression gratitude, and love, not because he trucked me through an airport.  When he gets a cookie for loading into his crate into the van, it will be “just because” instead of a “good work” kind of deal.

One of the reasons I do not take on a program dog is because many programs dictate that once the dog is finished with its service, you must give it up in order to obtain a new partner.  I do not think this is fair, nor do I think it is right.  I have spent the last 9-10 years with this dog.  There is no reason that the dog cannot stay with me until it passes on.  I owe these dogs my life, and the least I can give them is time to snuggle with me on my bed at night, or eat food off the floor at home, or sit on the couch and watch a shitty episode of Glee with me.

Strauss will not leave this house, ever.  He is here until he crosses the rainbow bridge.  He’s my pride, my joy, my Moose of a Mouse.  No.  The only way he’d ever leave me, beyond his own passing, is if somebody killed me dead, and pried his leash from my fingers.

Ain’t nobody dumb enough to try that shit with me.  This dog is my literal lifesaver, and I’ll be damned if I ever let anybody take him from me.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

 

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~ by ClassicalSpazz on January 18, 2012.

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