Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Venting because I had a crappy week

I have been approached almost every single day last week by people telling me that what I am doing is horrible and abusive and all that crap. Normally I can brush it off and I don't care that much, but this week was just one after another. I am sick of it! They tell me that it is awful that I would force my dogs to work and that my dogs looks so sad. I feel like I have been getting stomped deeper and deeper into the ground every day.

On Monday it was this lady in a fast food restaurant. I corrected Sherman for going after a French fry on the ground. This lady just freaked out and started yelling at me. (I barely corrected him; it could hardly be categorized as a correction. He can be quite sensitive so he only needs a gentle reminder) But the lady railed on me about how it is just a little piece of fry and it isn't going to hurt him. I tried to explain to her about it being distracting and how he needs to focus on his job and not the food on the floor. The lady just would not listen! I finally just excused myself and left the restaurant. (In a fairly bad mood)

Then on Wednesday it was this guy who approached me and told me how sad Sherman looked. (completely disregarding Sherms tail wagging a mile a minute, so he has a droopy face, so what?!) He told me that it “disgusted” him how people forced dogs into a job, when dogs really want to spend their days being spoiled rotten and sleeping on the couches, and beds. (Sorry but my dog likes being with me, he could not be happy spending his day in the backyard by himself or left alone in the house for hours until I got home from work or school, and my dogs are spoiled and loved unconditionally) I tried to tell him that no dogs are “forced” to work and that if they don’t enjoy their job or don’t want to be guides they won’t be. That they can find happy, loving homes as pets. (Glennie is a perfect example. She was the third pup I raised and she HATED being a guide dogs puppy. She didn’t like going out in public and so GDB decided to have her career changed when she was six months old.) He obviously would not listen to me. I wanted to ask where his dog (if he even had one) was at that moment.

Thursday it was another “I can’t believe you force these dogs to work!” people and then on Friday someone sent this article to a yahoo group that I am on, and frankly, I was offended. This lady really needed to do more research before posting such a insulting article.

Saturday was the one day I was looking forward to. Our club was having a big outing in Salt Lake where we rode Trax and walked around this amazing Library with glass elevators (they freaked me out a bit) and glass walkways and stairs. It was really good for the dogs. After we get into the library we were given about fifteen minutes to walk around and let our dogs experience everything. I took Sherm on the elevators and down the stairs, let his sit by a railing on the third floor so we could look down. He did really well! I was done so I went down where there was a circle of raisers who were chatting while the rest finished walking around. This guy came up behind me and here is our conversation: (I am still mad that he singled me out especially because of all the other people this week who took thier frustrations out on me, and there was a good seven or eight other raisers he could have talked to)
Guy: How much would you sell your dog for?
Me: He is not for sale.
Guy: Do you know how much he is worth?
Me: I dunno, he is not for sale. He is in training to be a guide dog for the blind.
Guy: You don’t know anything about these dogs! I know everything about these dogs. These dogs want to hunt and catch birds.
Me: Well, these dogs are bred to be guide dogs. So they like just hanging out and being with their handler.
Guy: No you don’t know anything! They want to hunt and run and have birds in their mouths. (all this while Sherman is absolutely comatose on the floor)
(This is where another raiser jumped in, THANK GOODNESS!!)
Raiser: Thank you, bye!
Guy: (still spouting off something about knowing everything there is to know about dogs and how I knew nothing)
Me: Thank you, bye!
And the guy finally walked away. Still muttering things about dogs wanting to hunt.

I am normally a very positive person and it takes a lot to get me down. But even for me it is hard to recover from all that coming down on me at once. Oh, and then to top it all off. . . I drove another raiser up to Salt Lake and afterward I dropped her off at her house. I went to get back in the car, loaded Sherman and just as I was closing the door Sherman moved and his tail came out the door. I was already in the process of slamming the door closed, so I tried to stop the door so it would not squish his tail and in the process decapitated my thumb. (At least I managed to save my boys tail) My nail is all gross and black and blue and I should probably get a few stitches to put it back together, but since I am absolutely terrified of needles I am hoping that it will heal okay without them. :[

Thanks for listening to me rant. I thought that you all would understand where I am coming from in my frustrations with people telling me how horrible I am for raising guide dogs. It is so nice to have other raiser friends who experience all this too. I am so glad that it is a new week and hopefully this week goes better than last. :)


Sarah said...

Good for you for keeping yourself in check all week! I think by the end of that week I may have just lost it on that hunting guy!

I too read that article you linked to. I was going to respond but then realized it was PETA, who is so stuck in their ways it would not do any good.

Just know that what you are doing is a wonderful thing and don't let yourself get down.

Hope your thumb gets better!

Brittany said...

Oh, Megan that is awefull!! I am so sorry! I hate when people say stuff like that, and to have it happen over and over in one week is horrible! It sounds like you handled yourself very well.

That library sounds great though. Where in salt lake city was it?

Hobbes Dogs said...

Ugg, sorry that you had such a horrible week.

I completely agree with you though - these dogs do enjoy working, or else they are not going to make it through the program.

Hope next week is better!

Megan & Sherman said...

We started at the gateway mall and the Trax station is right there.

Elizabeth and Holly, GDB Pup said...

That does sound like a bad week! It bugs me how everyone who has ever had a Chihuahua knows so much more about dogs than you do! And to the Wednesday guy--hello? Labs are just droopy dogs, it doesn't mean they are sad.

Taelor and Eagle said...

I would have totally blown my top by the end of that week! Reading that article gave me the chills! She obviously didn't know anything about what she was saying. Hope you have a better next week!
~Taelor and Eagle~

Taelor and Eagle said...

I would have blown my top by the end of that week! Reading that article gave me the chills. The person who wrote it obviously had no idea what she was talking about!Hope you have a better next week!
~Taelor and Eagle~

Kasey and Blitz said...

Ooh, that's awful! I'm so sorry you had such an awful week! You did a really good job representing guide dogs, though...Especially with the whole telling them that if dogs don't like it, they get dropped and placed as pets. Ugh, I read that article! it's awful!

Just remember that you ARE doing a great job, and that you are NOT forcing Sherman to do anything. Don't listen to those peoples comments!

Lisa & Runza said...

YAY - It's finally letting me comment. After a hundred tries.

I'm SO sorry you had such a rotten week. I would not have been able to keep my cool like you. I would have blown up on them.

These dogs are so lucky to go out in public and be with people all day long. People are so naive - it's really terrible. I can't believe that girl got onto you about a fry for crying out loud. UGH!

And that article. That makes me so steaming mad.

You definitely went through the puppy raiser gauntlet and passed with flying colors! You are to be commended for how well you handled everything.

You are doing something wonderful and whoever gets Sherman for their eyes will appreciate everything you have done to get him there more than words can express. Keep up the good work.

Tell Sherm to do good - but not too good at his evals! :) *wink* he he! :)

Natalie said...

Wow, some people...

What a crappy week- you did a good job handling the situations though. Ignorant people are always the hardest to deal with since they don't (want to?) understand what you're saying to them.

Hope your thumb gets better soon!!

Kelsey and Spike said...

I am so sorry, what an awful time! I would have so lost it with that last guy. I completely understand where people could think some of these things, but once they really know the whole story, they couldn't possibly think those things. Only complete ignorance makes people think this way. I found that article to be so ignorant and insulting....PETA, ugh, for an organization that is so set on helping animals...they sure don't give a darn about other people.

I get people all the time that say my dogs look sad and that I'm abusing them, but I tend to be ok with it because they're in high school. But grown adults? Not so easy to deal with. I know Chappelle is a shining example as well, if we leave Chappelle home, we expect to find something chewed up or missing in the backyard. He's a working dog, and while he's happy being a pet, there has to be some balance for him of working and being a pet.

Anyway, sorry about your week, and your finger! Good job saving Sherman's little tail! :)

Emily and Suede said...

I am so sorry. That is horrible. I can't stand it when people do that. Good job for staying calm around those people. And that article was awful. Hope you have a better week, and I know Sherm loves going out. Most of our pups do.

Lani said...

You're a champ. Nice job, don't know if I could have held it in. why do people feel that they have the right to come up and but into your business? They need to get a life.

Sherman knows what's up - he can honk your horn and get you in line if you need it. And if he felt abused, I'm sure he'd hop right on your blog and tell everyone about it ;) He loves you and that is all that matters.

Lani sends love and kisses for your thumb. (but I'd wash your hand after- she's been eating poop!)

Emily, Maggie, Ellis, and Angel said...

Grrrr... so sorry that you had such an awful week. We all get a little of that once in a while, but no fair for you to get so many helpings in one week. Hopefully that was your fill for the rest of the year!

I have to supervise a study hall for the next 6 weeks starting today... and a few of the students were being really annoying about Angel and not listening to me ("but she is so sad, why can't we pet her" "Why is she wearing a muzzle? Does she bite?") I think I will just leave her in the crate tomorrow and not bring her to study hall... having a bad week too and can't deal with it!

Taelor and Eagle said...

Hey Megan,
can you tell me how you made the header for your blog? It is adorable, and I want to make one for my own!!
~Taelor and Eagle~

Taelor and Eagle said...

Thanks a bunch for the help!!!
~Taelor and Eagle~

MK said...

Yeah, you definitely handled all the idiots amazingly. I might not have been so polite with people so adamant about being stupid. But then again, they're so stuck in their ways it probably wouldn't change anything even if you did say anything. Sigh.

Maybe this means since this week was so crappy next week will be amazing? Hope your thumb heals quick and hugs to you and puppy kisses to Sherman. Rant anytime. :-)