If you have a Service Dog for any significant time one of the questions you are bound to have to answer will look something like the following:
- How long does (s)he work?
- How do you know when it’s time for a dog to retire?
These are perfectly valid questions and they deserve an answer. The problem in answering the question is that it doesn’t have a finite answer. This isn’t algebra solving for Y, it’s more like solving WHY?
The only answer I have found is that your dog will let you know. So, let’s interview a dog.
Dan: Casper, you’re five years old, do you still love your job? Are you ready to retire?
Casper: Yes, of course, I love my job! Retirement is NOT coming anytime soon!
Dan: How do you know?
Casper: Well, I would think I answered the question loud and clear today, right?
Dan: Tell our followers about it.
Casper: We got up today, just like any other week-day. Your alarm went off, you got out of bed and then gave me smooches before you showered; then we made breakfast for the critter crew and went outside…
Dan: Well, to clarify I fell after my legs gave out rounding the corner toward the end of the bed…
Casper: Did you ask me to tell the story?
Casper: OK, so… YOU GAVE ME SMOOSHES!!!… Then you took your morning meetings while I chilled on my family room bed. After a while, you went back to grab some socks and shoes. I really don’t get your fascination with shoes, I hate them!
Dan: they help protect my feet from any number of hazards; it’s the same reason I try to get you to wear yours.
Casper: Anyway! You put shoes on. I got up, thinking it was time to go to work outside. We went outside for a “business break” then you went to the garage for your cane and told me to stay! It’s like you forgot the fact that I go where you go. Then you left the house without me and just said: “I’ll be back”. OK, Arnold, whatever! Where are you going? How long will you be? What am I supposed to do on my own? You didn’t even put Pit bulls and Parolees on TV for me.
Dan: I had to drop YOUR car off for a scheduled service, and they wouldn’t give me a loaner you’d fit in. I was home within a half hour, I didn’t even make any stops.
Casper: a Poor excuse. They’re all poor excuses!
Dan: Okay, Okay. I agree, and for the record, it’s weird for me too. I almost forgot I even needed to bring my cane. I didn’t even stop anywhere because I know how you are.
Casper: Whaaat? I was fine – just like you… always fine (but not really).
Dan: Funny, ‘cause Momma said you were “beside yourself” and pacing the house. And, your sister wouldn’t eat her breakfast until I got home and gave both of you pets and cuddles. I was greeted like I was away on a deployment or somethin’. Do you remember?
Casper: Of course I remember. I went to college! I have a smart bump to prove it. As a matter of fact, I was born AT A BOARDING SCHOOL and you had to be convinced you even needed me. Do YOU remember?
Dan: I remember. That’s a story we told right here on the blog.
Casper: In summary. I’ll keep my job for the foreseeable future, thank you very much. I’ll try and be kind if I ever make the decision to retire. Just don’t send me upstate to a farm.
Dan: Never, buddy – Never
Casper loves taking care of you, Dan and he will never retire and vice versa, you love him too! The 2 of you were meant to be together. It warms my heart to read your blogs and to know there are good people out there and to know how exceptional Casper is!
Funny. As always, just love your blog. Have missed them. Keep up the great work Dan & Casper.
So glad to hear from you again, Casper! I understand this subject is a weighty one for Dan and you. The unfortunate fact is that big dogs like you don’t have as much time with their hoomans as little pesky little ones! AND if Dan ever decides to look for your replacement when you feel it’s time – YOU will be able to train the new guy/girl to YOUR specifications, teaching exactly what needs to be known and done! SO we’ve turned a sad fact into a positive – just like Carlene always says! I’ve been a follower since I watched you being born!
Funny! Tommy’s partway there – loves his job but also loves his bed more and more. It’s super hard to make the decision to seek out the next SD, but since training can take so long, the search has begun for me. Super hard, as mentioned, but super fortunate, too, that I’m f have such a choice AND wil become a two-Dane household!
I totally get it. I think I’ve made my decision that when we hit retirement time that we won’t seek another SD. Having a dog is amazing but today, I can’t do it again.
I totally hear you. It’s intense – people have no idea. It’s emotionally wrenching (as is dealing with a disability at times), it’s a great deal of work (ditto on the disability front). I foresee a number of SDs in my lifetime, but i’ll be each one’s only human. Somehow, the latter keeps me moving forward (with the help of the dog, that is…).
Y’all are hysterical! (Casper is indispensable.)
Yes, he is.
Ya’ll are hysterical! (and Casper is indispensable)
This was a happy read. Thank you.
You go, Casper….<3
I 💗 Casper and would love to meet him and his human family!
We try and let everyone know when we travel so if we ever have the opportunity to be in your area you may just get the chance.
That was awesome. You did amazing being Casper’s voice. And totally realistic. Made me smile.
Good, We’re glad. 🙂
Love you & your blog Casper!
We love you too