Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Can't Believe Some People

I just got back from my walk with Tyanna,
and we encountered a very frustrating situation.

Around the corner from us lives a skilled companion
graduate team. It is such a joy to see the dog out,
and chat with the family about CCI.

While out on our walk, we ran into lady walking her
dog (I am familiar with her, as I see her out all the
time, and she knows Tyanna is a puppy-in-training).
Like a normal 5 month lab puppy, Tyanna acted very
enthusiastically when she saw this lady and her dog.
Anyways, we got talking, and the lady told me: "This
dog will never make it, she could never be a working
dog." That comment drilled a hole in my heart...but I
know I can't listen to her. But, it gets worse.

She continued to say that she feels sorry for the
skilled companion that lives around the corner because
he is a "robot dog". She told me how he never gets to
be a dog, and is only used as a tool. Her evidence was
that the family didn't let the CCI dog play and greet
her dog while out. I nicely explained that a working
dog's attention must be focused on his handler, and
working time is not play time. I also educated her in
the process of choosing a graduate dog: how the dogs
absolutely LOVE what they do, and when they are
working, they are the happiest. She continued to
differ with me, telling me this dog has no life.

It was so frustrating! I remained calm and cool, and
tried to politely educate her, but she would have none
of it! Has anybody encountered this situation before?
How did you handle it? I see her lots, so I think I
will have to do some more educating in the future, and
I want to make sure I do it properly.

Thank you for listening to my ranting!!


raiserally said...

I have encountered this to an extent before. You can always take the route of "these dogs get to go everywhere their person does. What dog wouldn't like that more than sitting at home while their human lives their life?" and don't worry, most people, especially ignorant ones have no idea what it takes to make a good service dog, and with Tyanna being so young there's tons of time to work on it. So make it your resolve to expose her to and make her more comfortable with and more clam with meeting people/dogs on the street and ignoring them. When she's a year you'll encounter this lady again and I'm sure she'll eat her words *grins*

Erin & Rei said...

she probably won't change her mind until she actually SEE's for herself, that the dogsa are allowed to be dogs when they aren't working.
Even then she may be like, I thought they were'nt supposed to do that sort of stuff....just ignore it and go on..swhat I do.

Anna said...

yeah, what erin says :) a lot of people are stuck in their ways about how service/guide dogs have no fun, so when I talk to people and do presentations I ALWAYS emphasize how much fun they have if they make it, and they do get to be "dogs" sometimes :)

Kasey and Blitz said...

I'm so sorry! I've encountered people who said that Jaylie would never make it. Well, she didn't make it, but it wasn't for a behavioral problem. Louise told me that there were quite a few people at GDA who were disappointed to hear that Jaylie was dropped, that she would have made an excellent guide. But then the people who don't know anything are there putting in their two cents about how awful a dog Jaylie is and how she'd never be an SD.

Wednesday, I was out with Blitz after a long day of him having to lay at my feet and be quiet. It was his first full school day, so he was a bit whiny. A lady came up to me and was talking to Blitz, (Never talked to me) "Oh, you just need some loving, don't you? You need to be out and be a normal dog. You poor thing." She walked away before I could explain that he does get quite a bit of "Normal" dog time. It's too bad when we have to deal with those sorts of people.

Joanna and Camry said...

That's so annoying. You'll get used to it, the longer you have Tyanna. When people tell me that dogs don't like being guides/service dogs, I tell them that one of my puppies graduated and I have never seen her as HAPPY as when she was in her harness. Then, I say that one of my puppies was CC'd for being unwilling to work, and they only hung on to her for four weeks, so obviously the trainers will NOT force a puppy to work if the puppy doesn't want to. I think you did a good job explaining the whole graduate process. Most people are just set in their ways convinced that we're torturing the dogs. Right lady. So annoying!

As for the "your dog will never make it" remark... as you said, just ignore it. She's not a trainer, she doesn't know what they're looking for in a puppy, so she can just shutup. :)

Emily and Suede said...

Tyanna reminds me of Suede a lot. They look alike I think. Do you see any similarities?

Natalie said...

Ugh I HATE when that happens! I had a bunch of people tell me Petey wouldn't make it, which he didn't but still!! You'd think people would be more considerate of the fact that it's not THEIR dog, and that they don't know anything about the dog except for what they're seeing at that moment. Plus they don't know anything about raising service dogs probably. Grrrrrr.

I just try to be polite most of the time and laugh it off while on the inside imagining their heads being ripped off.

Kelsey and Spike said...

Ugh. I get this a lot as well. But fortuanately I get the "you're doing a great thing" much more often. I think the people who think that they are concerned for the dog and its wellfare make certain unwelcome comments. These people are not only poor dog owners, but not as compassionate as they would like to think. As for the "that dog will never make it" comment, I got it several times while raising Chappelle because he was a high energy dog. Basically it angers me because these people have NO IDEA what it takes to make a guide dog. Just remember that you're doing an awesome thing, and the people who make those comments can't even comprehend such an awesome thing.

Emily and Suede said...

Yes, Suede is very calm. Ty might be a little lighter. Suede is getting darker everyday! Very Similar. It was funny, I kept looking at her and thinking she reminded me of someone, but couldn't figure out who. Figured it out now :P

Tennessee Girl said...

SO annoying! I'm sorry! I've gotten the "oh such poor doggies" thing before and what I always told people was, they ADORE working and they do get out-of-cape time when they can run around and be just like any other dog. I guess it's just the people don't see how thrilled the pups are when we get out the cape/harness to do training. And about Tyanna not making it...wait until she's a year. She'll be awesome and nobody in their right mind will be telling you she won't pass! :D

Runza said...

Ugh, this one strikes a particular nerve. My HOA did the same thing to me. Instead of having a large dog who was well behaved and well trained they opted to refuse me the right to live there anymore and raise and only allow dogs under 20 pounds who bark encessently, are never on leash and whose owners don't pick up after them. And they wonder why they have a pet problem.

I'm So sorry she said that to you. How rude and wholly uneducated. It's so sad people really think that. These dogs love to work and they get to be with their person all day, not left in a kennel. What's not to love.

You did the best thing though by remaining calm and trying to educate her. I don't see any light bulbs going off in her head any time too soon though. GOOD LUCK and keep up the great work. Ty looks and sounds like she is doing amazing.