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