The Dog Isn’t the Challenge

“What kind of dog is that?”

“He’s a Lab.”

“Really? He doesn’t look like a Lab! He looks like a Golden.”

“That’s just because he’s fuzzy. He’s only eight weeks old.”

“Is he part Shar Pei?”

“Nope. He’s wrinkly because he’s only eight weeks old. He’s just got a big Sonny suit. Full Labrador.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

I forget just how many interesting moments you have when you raise puppies. I’ve had Sonny for less than a week now, and I’ve already had people challenge me about Sonny’s breed, distract him by whistling at him when I’m trying to get him to relieve, reach out to pet him when I’m carrying him in public, try to give me money to buy him dog food (because that cost is not covered by the guide dog school), and beg me — from the next checkout line over — to bring him to their house to play with their 18-month-old twins (whaaa…?).

I’ve known some weird dogs, but people are always much weirder. I realize that a lot of encounters are simply due to ignorance and that educating the public — graciously — is one of the responsibilities of a puppy raiser, but sometimes I am simply perplexed.

Guide dog handlers, I salute you. I’m sure you have some crazy stories.

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5 responses to “The Dog Isn’t the Challenge

  1. I was at a fundraiser tonight, and AFTER asking the ages and breeds of the two dogs there (my 6 month old chocolate lab and a 4 month old golden retriever) a lady proceeded to ask us whether they were litter ages.

  2. Sorry – littermates*

  3. Kimberly & guide dog Abby

    Oh I could tell you stories…. I assure you that no matter what breed you tell them Sonny is, most of them will not believe you. I’d tell them he was a Martian breed if I could do it without laughing, which I can’t.

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