I'm talking about the brochures put out by the service dog programs. They don't talk about the "real live" stuff of having a service dog. I mean; it's all about "freedom" and "independence", but they don't tell you about the moments (hopefully few and far between) which make you want to crawl under a rug and hide. Moments like I had today... When Laveau, with neither rhyme nor reason vomited in spectacular fashion during my beginning braille class.
Whoops, I should have put a food warning on this. Oh well; I've never been one for rules and lord knows us dog people talk about it without a second thought... So anyway; where was I? Oh yes-- vomit.
See the thing is, all of my dogs have done the deed in public, and I'm kind of an old hand at this. Mill'E and Bristol both are Theatrical Pukers. They had to go through all the motions, gag, heave, etc. It was a huge production. Which, although embarrassing, gave me ample warning of the impending gastric onslaught. I got really good at rushing my dog/s outside, or to a garbage can.
The difference is that Laveau is not a Theatrical Puker; she's one of those rare breeds-- the Stealth Puker®. I swear, one moment she'll be fine, and the next she's just horked her breakfast onto her toes. It's like that song, "Whoop, there it is!" So I was mid-way through my class when I smelled it, and selfishly wanted to hide under the rug.
I am an expert cleaner of these kinds of messes, so I quickly got back to teaching. Laveau is fine; she does this once a year or so-- will just sort of throw up (usually in public) and just be fine.
And can I just say that it will continue to amaze me when people are shocked to see my dog throwing up. One lady once said "I thought they were trained not to do that."
So yes, surprisingly enough, Service Dogs; being that they are *dogs* do all that unpleasant stuff just as we do. And you can train a dog to do many wonderful and helpful things, but they are still dogs and puke happens.
Maybe I'll print up hats for service dog handlers that say "Puke Happens." And when you are cleaning up the mess in the middle of a Wal*Mart, you can put the hat on your head and give people something else to stare at.
Bristol has been quite playful today. She really loves this squeaker chicken I bought for her in Virginia. Isn't that the way it is though-- you spend all this money on expensive toys, and it's the cheap ones you pick up without a thought that they really love.
And just not to leave her out, Mill'E-Max decided that when I asked her to hold Laveau's leash for a second, I really meant that I wanted her to take Laveau for a walk. So Mill'E-Max trotted away-- leash in mouth-- and behind her, there is Laveau, being haplessly led along by a very exuberant Mill'E-Max who thought this was brilliant.
I love dogs!