I will never get a guide dog. Plain and simple. A lot of people have asked me why. I think the main reason is that I don't want the responsibility inherent in having one of these working dogs. In so many ways, a guide dog controls its owner. And again, that's not meant to be disparaging, it's a necessary reality of having a guide dog, and some people are cut out for it and others, like me, are not. But I, personally, don't want to live my life around getting up at set times, following set routines that the dog will understand and recognize, and have to ask myself at every turn whether such and such an environment or situation is suitable for the dog. It's just not the sort of thing I want to deal with. Then there's the hair and other messes that come with the territory. I almost stepped into a still-steaming guide dog patty once at CNIB. This did little to make me more prone to liking the idea of guide dog ownership. But again, it's just me.
Then there was dinner on Wednesday. I come from the old-fashioned school of thought. I know it's outdated and barbaric, but where I come from, you used a table to put food on when you weren't eating it. disgusting and primitive, I know. But I'm set in my ways. So when I was visiting a friend on Wednesday, I made the mistake of practising this bit of savagery, and put my really yummy meal down on the TV tray in front of me. I leaned back for a second, and immediately, there was the guide dog, eating out of my plate. I'm sorry, but I will not, can not, eat out of a plate that a dog has just been slobbering out of. I lack the cultural refinement, I suppose. So there was a whole bunch of good food wasted.
Guide dogs are wonderful, please don't get me wrong. They have done immense good for a lot of people, and if a guide dog is for you, you have my full and undying support. And if I am around you, I will treat your dog with respect, I will follow all of the protocols, and when your dog is out of harness, I will gladly and with joy play with your dog and we'll have a great time! But just don't expect me to ever get a dog, that's all.