When we brought Casper home Dan and I both had a vague idea of how different our lives would be and we knew some of it would be more difficult. We had no idea how much would change really but we wouldn’t give up even the hard parts if it meant no Casper. We love him like a child. And we defend him like a parent would.
You guys know how I get all Momma Bear about my pups. I guess I should start saying Momma Dog?
The thing that really bother us is how people can say just offensive things about them. They range from things that seem innocent but if you said it about a person would be rude to down right jaw-dropping rude. I won’t be surprised if one day someone asks how much Casper weigh and Dan responds with “How much do YOU weigh?” That is one of the tame ones.
People actually ask us all the time if he bites. It upsets us and also makes that person look like an idiot. Why would a dog who bites he allowed to be a service dog? And we have the stares too. Most are of amusement or awe but some are actually in disgust. People cross the street or step out of elevator when he enters.
And there is the fact that people judge him on his size, not his age. Even when he is not on duty people assume he shouldn’t be playful. When we are out he is prone to try to sneak a kiss on kids who walk by (we are working on this). Most people think its cute but others are not happy about it. He is a big puppy. Give him a break.
The biggest reason I am writing this though, is because these judgments mean that he can’t do his job right. You all know about the incident where a smaller dog barked and Casper was accused of being vicious and kicked out of a store. That hurt us deeply.
Now, we are facing another false accusation about him. I don’t want to give too much detail about it since it is a place were many people we love go often as well and we don’t want to defame it. However, here it the long and short of it. A child, one who often is misbehaving there, ran past Casper and made him pull Dan. It was fine. Dan got it under control. Later my kids told me this same boy was shining a laser pointer in Casper’s eye. This is were Momma Dog came out. I calmly talked to the mother about it and asked that she stress to her son how important it is not to distract a working dog and how dangerous laser pointers were. Then I was told Casper had “nipped” the boy. Nope. Didn’t happen. I matter of factly explained that Casper not only doesn’t do that, but even if it happened. Dan would have seen it.
Now we have been asked to come in and discuss an “incident.” Dan and I are livid about this. We wrote a detailed email about everything that happened and how there is no way this could have taken place and still we are asked to come in and talk.
So here we go with the burden of proof being on us, as the owners of a large and misunderstood breed. Ridiculous. Our schedules now have to be rearranged so that we can take care of this.
Meanwhile, what bothers me the most is that this boy is learning a lesson here. He is learning that a little fib can turn into something big. And that he is not responsible for that at all. He is also learning that he is more valued in society than a person with a disability. This makes my stomach turn, but even worse is that the adults involved don’t even see this.
We stand by our big sweet Dane though anything. Even lies. He is more valuable to us than any place is and if he can’t go back then we say goodbye.