We have three permanent dogs — dogs that were released from service work. Three dogs, plus a yearly rotating service pup in training, is about all we can handle. Four permanent dogs plus a service dog just wouldn’t work well. And here are the reasons why.
1. We couldn’t raise a service pup in training if we had four permanent dogs.
2. Our current dogs wouldn’t be afforded the same level of attention and training with the addition of another dog.
3. I am devoted to Tango, my yellow Labrador, and want to focus on “he and me.”
4. When I am finally ready to get another dog, after Tango is no longer with us (which I hope is a long, long time from now), I want a dog with whom I can continue therapy work.
Those are four very good reasons. Hard to argue with reasons.
So why, tell me, is it so painful for me to decline keeping sweet Great Dane, Siena, who is being released from the service dog program?
I *know* it’s the right decision — logically. Alas, I am ruled not with logic, but rather by emotion. And emotionally, I WANT TO KEEP HER!
It’s as if I have two very different people living in my head. And they argue constantly over this issue. And each of them have very compelling arguments.
Every danged time a Dane comes into my life so far, it’s resulted in heartbreak. That danged lovely Talos with his ice-blue eyes and cow-like spots nearly killed me with grief when I had to turn him in. (He’s now a brilliant service dog working for a brilliant woman, so the ending is happy].
And now, the adorable and oh-so-lovey Siena’s going to kill me when I give her up to a loving home [that’s going to be wonderful to her and for her].
Here’s the part I really don’t understand about myself. EVERY time I raise a service dog, I cry and my heart is broken. Yet, I’m not keeping Siena because I want to keep raising service dogs.
I think I’m crazy. That is all.