Two doors down from the building that I work in is Guiding Eyes for the Blind. When I go out for coffee or lunch I see the dogs being trained to lead the blind, and sometimes a blind person being trained to walk with the dog. The dogs are golden retrievers, black labs, and black and tan retriever-lab crosses. They all have smiles on their doggy faces and seem to wholly enjoy the experience. I see them when they are young and inexperienced, and then later when they are getting serious about their jobs.
They are great dogs. They are the kind of good and loyal friend that has worked closely with man for a million years. It is all I can do not to stop and give them hug and a good petting, but they are working at an important job and I don’t want to distract them.
I have thought about getting a dog from time to time. When I am retired I will certainly get one. My grandfather lived well into his nineties and having a dog to walk for the last 30 years of his life contributed to his longevity. I might go to Guiding Eyes and see about adopting a washout. Not all of their dogs “get it” and I expect they have a good number who are too active or interested in their environment to concentrate on the hard work at hand. These dogs would still be well behaved and have had many hours of patient training. They would make the perfect pet. The faults that kept them from being seeing eye dogs might be good qualities in a normal pet.
The only problem that I foresee is the cats. I don’t think they would forgive me if I brought home the enemy!