“What a rough life — working all the time. Does he ever get a chance to play?” That’s one of the most frequent questions I get asked as a puppy raiser of service dogs.
I get it. When you see a service dog in training in public, it may look like he’s not having any fun. He’s learning how to not walk up to people and beg for attention, he’s learning to not sniff the produce, he’s learning to not bark at other dogs they see on the street.
In short, he’s learning how to pay very close attention to me. It’s his job. His future human partner’s life will depend on this training.
Here’s the thing: service dogs in training live a grand life. Schooner (and all the dogs before him) sleeps in bed, is allowed on the furniture, and gets lots of down time to be just a regular old dog. He plays, he woofs, he annoys our other dogs, he chases the birds in the backyard. He is a dog.
He does this every morning (and very often again in the evening). I finally caught a snippet on video. Here’s the answer to “Does he ever get to play?”