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retiring my guide Fallbrook

August 22, 2012

I bet you didn’t know that I have / had a guide dog since 2006. I wanted to write about this earlier, but am just too lazy to put in the links and a couple of pictures (which would make the blog more interesting and probably also generate some traffic). If I can find a picture, I’ll put it in in another post and just have another post called: “Fallbrook.”
there were many reasons that I chose to get a guide dog in that stage of my life, but by 2010, I married and my life became very different. I won’t elaborate on the differences in this post, but will make mention of them in a later post. And, I have talked about the problems that surround my guide on my other blog:
some will ask, “Why not retire the dog and keep him as a pet?” Well, while that is an option for many, it is not for us. First, DH is against having a pet (dog saliva and excrement, is unclean, dog hair is unclean, the dog must be on his best behavior at all times, etc)and would never support it. Second, if he did, the dog would have to stay in the garage. third, it is a lot of work for me. fourth, the dog is use to constant companionship and if he was our “pet” we would have to leave him home alone quite a bit and he would not enjoy himself. fifth, money money money. There is just not a compromise. And, even if there were, I am not sure that I want to deal with it. I think that Fallbrook would be better off with another family.
When I went to the hospital to have the baby, a friend of mine took the dog. Since I have had the baby, discord about the dog has grown. And, I have to admit, it is much more difficult to work the dog and carry the baby. Yes, I know women who do it… just as I know women who juggle working and parenting. But, in both cases, I’m not that woman.
OK, (for anyone who is clueless or who has just started reading this blog) DH has a firm dislike for dogs. they are unclean. Again, I don’t have time to reference it, but the Hanifis support “no dogs in the house,” and such. I could argue that guide dogs are service dogs and therefore should get an exception. He tollerated the dog until I had the baby. But, he just can’t stand dogs around him and/or the baby. The dog hair is unclean, licking is unclean, etc. Honestly, I don’t like a dog licking me, either. but, he goes way overboard. We have had too many arguments about this subject. He is extreme, but not always wrong. And, I have family that go to the other extreme. It is so tiring to broker the middle ground. My father (and daughter to some extent as well) treat dogs as if they are “little humans.” My father feeds his dogs table food, lets them rule the house, gives excuses when they bark and growl at people, won’t keep them in their cage, justifies when they mess on the floor, lets them ride in the car (but without a seatbelt or cage) to accompany him everywhere, won’t spay or neuter or vaccinate the dog, buys his dogs endless toys, allows his dogs on the furniture(even his bed — under the covers) and generally treats them like his children. I would not go that far, but I need to say:
I already miss my guide, Fallbrook. He is so well trained. He listens quite well. He is also gentle with little kids and babies. He slows down when I am carrying the baby and tries to be very careful when going over a step. there wer even times when I had to lean on him a bit and he took it all in good stride. There was a time when I accidently set the car seat on his paw and he just calmly moved his paw out from under the car seat. when a baby crawls and steps on him, he just moves so that the baby can’t reach him. I know that the dog will miss me, too. He is just so happy to be here. This is not saying that I want the dog all of the time. Now he is fine. But, We have decided that the dog will leave (tonight) and the Guide Dog representative will visit Fallbrook in his “soon to be” new home. It is a home with four children and two parents. They had the dog for two weeks after the baby was born and just fell in love with him… and I think that he enjoys them, also.
DH is now ready to get a vacuum. I hesitated because I want a good one without a “kirby price tag.” So, we do, as of now, have lots of dog hair on the floor. We have been using others’ vacuums for now.
Anyway, I miss my dog. And, I don’t want the baby to be so rigid about dogs. OK, he doesn’t have to be an animal lover — I’m not. But, I know that he loves watching the dog — at least my daughter’s little one. I think what I’ll do is take the baby in the stoler outside today and then groom the dog. I’ll keep the dog a safe distance from the baby, but be able to let the baby watch the dog and give the dog some attention. The baby doesn’t seem to be as excited about Fallbrook. I think that this is because Fallbrook doesn’t move fast and is big. He tries to pull the tail of my daughter’s dog, Piper. I let the baby touch the dog’s tail or paws and then wash his hands and use hand sanitizer afterwords. I teach the baby how to pet the dog, but make sure that the baby is not by the dog’s head. And, I wash the baby’s hands afterword so that dog hair does not get into his mouth. But, I will not let the baby come close to the dog’s face at all. I respect DH’s concerns, even if I don’t share them as fervently as he does. He asks: “what will you do if the dog licks the baby?” I am not sure what reply he is looking for, I want to say: “Wash and sanitize his hands,” but instead I say: “Take him to the hospital and get him checked for diseases.” OK, I’m being sarcastic, but not by much. If it didn’t cost money, DH knows that he would actually do that very thing.
In any case, it is going to be an interesting day with the baby and I. I’d love to here what all of you do about your children when they interact with animals. Do you and your spouse have the same level of comfort with animals? If you don’t, how do you compromise? The baby probably won’t notice a difference with the dog being gone…. but, I am not sure.
I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts.


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