Have You Ever Thought About Raising a Service Dog?
Over the years, I have never ceased to be amazed by the self-less dedication I have witnessed from volunteer puppyraisers. These individuals open their homes and hearts to a bundle of furry joy and puppy breath. They work tirelessly to mold, train, and potty-train the puppies. And, just when the puppies become young adults, the puppyraisers pack them up and send them off into the world to advanced training where they will hopefully become a service dog or some other type of working dog.
Many people cry, “how can you put so much into a dog, care for it so deeply and then just give it away?” I say, "thank goodness" there are people in this world who can make such a sacrifice. People who can put their heart and soul into a dog and then let it go so unselfishly in order for people like me to be more independent. It is an act of love and support that is hard to comprehend.
These individuals love and support their puppies by giving them all of the confidence, self-assurance and education that they can. They also give to others by providing us with a loyal, dedicated animal that never leaves our side. Through their selflessness, they have enabled us to live our lives in ways that we could have only dreamed.
I don’t know how to respond to those who ask, “how can someone say good-bye to their young dogs in the prime of their lives?” All I can say is "thank you" for enabling me and other individuals with disabilities to say hello to life’s possibilities, hello to adventure, and hello to hope.
I guess that every puppyraiser knows that because of his and her dedication and hard work, they are sending this trained, young adult dog into the world. They are not saying good-bye to their beloved dog, but they are saying “go forward, take the love and confidence I have instilled in you and share it with others so that they may know love and self-confidence too.”