Today at work, my manager saw a guide dog waiting for its owner to come out of the toilet. It was lying on the ground, its head resting on its front paws, and she swears to Jeebus she saw it sigh.
I’d never really thought about it before, but it must suck balls to be a guide dog.
You’re born, you’re adorable, but there’s no time to enjoy your puppyhood. Nope, you’re shipped off to live with a family who will love you and take care of you then ABANDON YOU after twelve months and send you to puppy boot camp for intense training. Your fellow cadets will play pranks on you and call you ‘Nancy’ and your drill sergeant will make you drop and give him twenty if your boots aren’t shiny enough, which is really rough because you have four feet and there just isn’t enough time to shine all of them properly. Also, word of warning, you don’t want to know what he’ll do to you if you poo inside.
If you keep your head low, resist the temptation to chase your tail and don’t sniff anyone’s butt, when you’re old enough they’ll release you. But it’s not like getting out of prison, where you can’t function in society because you’ve seen things, man, and it’s changed you. You won’t get your freedom. You’ll be sent to spend the next decade with a human; a human you don’t even get to choose, so bad luck if they turn out to be a jerk who listens to dodgy music and makes you watch TV talent shows.
You’ll help this person all day every day. No annual leave. No double pay on public holidays. No pay at all. You won’t get to hang out with your friends, fall in love, chase the postman or bury anything in the backyard.
For what purpose does a guide dog live other than to serve?
So I salute you, humble guide dog. And I remind you that your owner has to sleep at some stage, and it’s not like he/she is going to see all the spots where you’ve dug up the backyard. Just saying.