As a Mobility Dog puppy raiser, I have often heard the remark: “Oh, I could never do that. I would never be able to give the dog back at the end!”
It’s not quite that simple. These dogs become a part of your routine and a part of your family. They go with you everywhere, learning and growing as they mature from puppies into young dogs. There are always struggles, and moments where you feel like just giving up, but also beautiful moments when you know exactly why you started. You form an incredibly strong bond with your dog, which helps with training but is always bittersweet – the end goal is always for the dog to graduate, which means you have to let them go.
Each dog has a beautiful, unique personality, and over the many months of training you come to learn their quirks and funny ways. I know I’ll never find a dog quite like him, or her, again. Each dog that leaves makes a hole the next dog doesn’t quite fit.
However, after some time has past, I start to see the positive side again. Yes, I miss that special dog, but now he or she has the opportunity to do something amazing. I might even have a new dog, who is not the same but is still a beautiful dog with a unique personality to be discovered. I enjoy the challenge of training again and seeing the dog grow and become a new member of the family.
I still miss the past dogs, but it makes the time with the new dog all the more precious. And eventually the sadness is gone, and I can look back with fondness at all the memories I have. And I can hope, maybe that dog will graduate and become a fully fledged Mobility Dog, able to help someone who might really need it.
By Amy about Murphy