I couldn’t resist using the above title for today’s post.
I know a lot of you are waiting for puppy/dog news, but I think it’s going to be a very long wait.
Train Tracks: Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.
People who have dogs with recent Newfie litters,
And even people who are expecting litters in the next few weeks,
Already have their puppies spoken for.
That’s not to say something couldn’t (unexpectedly) change, but I don’t have any expectation of finding a dog quickly.
The people I’m talking to, for the most part, are people who will have pups available in 2015.
Yes, it DOES seem like a long way away.
Especially when I thought I’d be training my future service dog by now.
That is, however, the reality.
I did talk to one breeder with three young Newfie dogs.
She was willing to sell me one of them, but I had a serious health concern about the dog she offered.
I’m fortunate because I have some very kind people in the Newfie world helping in my search.
They are putting the word out to their Newfie contacts.
“Kind woman in need of a working service dog. Woman was treated like shit by a previous breeder. Dog will be treated like Dog Royalty. Dog will be photographed extensively and will most likely become quite famous.”
At first, after Puppy Heartbreak, I was concerned, because some breeders only want to talk to “show people.”
After a very painful experience with a breeder I perceived to be more concerned about titles than humans,
I’m in no rush to “go there” again.
Now I’m finding, there are many people who value a dog’s contribution to society via service and/or therapy work more than they value show ribbons.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with show ribbons but in the end – they really are meaningless.
They contribute nothing … except stud fees to the pockets of a small percentage of breeders.
You can buy a show dog, you can pay the best trainer, you can pay the best handler, you can pay to be in a zillion shows ….
But in the end, as fun as that might be for YOU, all you’ve got is a ribbon.
It might be fun, it might get your competitive juices flowing, it might be a fulfilling hobby.
I’m sure it is great for a breeder’s ego.
There’s nothing WRONG with it if the dog enjoys it and, most importantly, if he/she is loved and well cared for.
(Did you know some people give the dogs away when they’re no longer good show material due to age and/or health issues?)
Does showing a dog make our world any better?
Does it help society or another human being?
Show breeders might not agree, but helping a person with some type of challenge is not meaningless.
I know, as a partially disabled person, I’m biased.
But, the breeders who care about helping other humans more than they care about ribbons are “my” type of people.
Fortunately, I’ve begun meeting like-minded people who would be honored to have one of “their” dogs contribute in such a positve way as a service dog.
I talked to one breeder this week who DOES (successfully) show her dogs.
She told me “often times a show home is not necessarily the best home.”
She is, genuinely, concerned for the best interest of the dogs.
I knew as I talked to her, she cares much more about her dogs finding loving homes than she does about shows, ribbons, or herself/her own ego.
She doesn’t have a litter at the moment, but she is definitely the type of person I’d be proud to get a dog from.
She’s been very supportive – actively searching and helping look for My Future Service Dog.
I really think, once I get my dog trained, I’d love to get him certified as a “therapy dog.”
I’ve always had a soft spot for elderly people.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to take a big, gentle, loving, Newfie into retirement homes?
I can’t imagine the joy it would bring.
It seems like such an easy, rewarding, way to give back – since so many people have helped me in my post-accident journey.
It isn’t easy starting over with the search for a service dog.
It may take months.
It may take a year.
But, at least, I feel like I’m on the right track.