A life of Servitude?

As a guide dog owner for some 30 years, I was interested to come across this article, “Service Animals: A ‘Chosen’ Career Path or a Life of Servitude?”, by Joy Thomas, a teacher and guide dog owner, https://www.crixeo.com/service-animals/.

In her article, Thomas examines the views of those who maintain that the use of service animals (such as guide dogs) is cruel, and contrasts them with others (including scientists and those who train service animals).

The latter group are of the opinion that most service animals enjoy their work and that the bond between a working animal and it’s handler/owner is sometimes stronger than the connection people have with their pet dog.

I have on occasions been asked whether my guide dog, Trigger gets bored. My answer is that he is with me 24 hours a day (not always in the same room but within easy call). Dogs are pack animals and crave companionship.

Being with me is, for Trigger an essential component of his security. Unlike many pet dogs he is not left alone for protracted periods during the day but accompanies me to the office, the supermarket and my favourite watering holes!

He is constantly stimulated, which enhances his wellbeing.

It is (usually) dogs that languish at home, for long periods (not working/service animals) that suffer from bordom/lonleness.


3 thoughts on “A life of Servitude?

  1. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    I’ve never had a guide dog, but when I lost my sight to the point where it was a real problem, I had a Westie who was about three years old at the time. He had never been trained as a service dog, but we had a very close bond (perhaps made even stronger by the fact we were rarely apart, and the anxiety he struggled with meant I made sure he had company when he couldn’t come where I went). Despite his lack of training, when I lost my sight, he did things to try and help me. He’d nudge my leg slightly to straighten me up if I looked to be straying from the path on one of our walks, or nudge my hand towards an object I’d dropped that I was searching for. He did this because he chose to. I think that says it all really.


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