On duty, going off…………

I walked the dog up to the launderette today then left her with Hubby whilst I went to a bank for some cash. Hubby has been using my cutting board for his boat, and let us say it is a bit ‘nicked’. Not that I mind, but I was going to make some cards yesterday and when I looked at it, I thought I’d take up his offer for a new one.
We saw one in a shop yesterday, but they only take cash, hence my need for some folding stuff.

Turning the corner, I met up with a guy and his guide dog. The dog seemed to be smiling at me and I said
‘Sorry, I can’t fuss you as you’re on duty’.
The guy promptly dropped the dog’s harness whilst retaining his lead and said
‘Now you can.’
I got the full treatment.

We chatted for quite some time, and I learned that Leo was this guy’s fourth guide dog and he was 8. He would have two more years in service, then he would be retired, but be kept as a house pet with his owner. I always like that, the dog is a working member of the family but stays with them forever.
Leo was a black labrador, though his predecessor was a golden retriever who lived to be 15.
He was also a leaner, putting his full weight against my legs, but gentle with it as he nudged my hand to that ‘just so’ position for ear rubs and fussing.
His owner told me they were making their way up to the beach as they hadn’t been out in the bad weather, and Leo loved to romp on the sand. It was his reward every week.
I gave him one last pat, wished the owner well and handed him Leo’s harness.
The switch was thrown and once again Leo was on duty, waiting patiently for his owner to tell him when he was ready to move on.

Isn’t it wonderful?

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to On duty, going off…………

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    Service dogs are amazing. I wrote an article in them some time back.

  2. colinandray says:

    We have a Guide Dog training centre just around the corner, and it is remarkable what those “guys” can do. Not only do they train seeing eye dogs, but also hearing ear dogs. Dogs are used as support for those physically challenged, and can warn of health issues etc. etc. They are so versatile it is quite awesome! 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    I’m always amazed how these dogs operate.

    • He was brilliant, and although I always understood the significance of the harness and respect those that are on duty, I have never seen the change in a dog so significantly. as I did today

      • Michael says:

        I had friends who took in guide dogs during their training and there were always strict protocols to be followed.

      • I am always careful when I can see dogs are in training as I do not want to upset said protocols, ruin train of thought, or interupt and distract them at what could be a vital moment.

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