When we think of dogs with a purpose, maybe a police dog, working farm dog, customs dog, therapy or assistance dog or even a Guide Dog comes to mind. In reality they all have a purpose, some are just carved out more than others, but overall they all share the same purpose of giving unconditional love.

Dogs have their own innate intelligence, that unlike humans aren’t compromised by intermittent ‘monkey chatter’ of ‘to do’ lists, identity crisis thoughts of ‘Does my bum look too big?’, keeping up appearances or worrying what the other dogs at the dog park are saying behind their backs. Without all this extra clutter they are able to use their intuition to sense danger, have compassion for humans and sensing when extra love and attention is needed.

In my time at the Guide Dogs, I have spent many hours with puppies and seen a variety of personalities. Whilst the pups are offered the opportunity to become a working dog, many gracefully decline. What I know for sure is that it’s always the dog’s choice. We like to call this a career change.

The public doesn’t know what they don’t know and on behalf of the dogs they would say, ‘we didn’t fail, we chose’.

In my own experience, my first puppy was a very spirited girl that bred five very spirited off springs and one that was not only a different colour but a different personality. The five black puppies are very much loved pets and I’m sure helping their new owners in their own way by opening their hearts.

I take very little credit for that puppy’s career choice. I only gave him the early environment and opportunity to ‘have a go’. I’m proud of the work he is doing for someone, offering them a better quality of life but, more importantly, I know he is very loved.

As I write this my third puppy in training I have raised is about to transition into her new role as a pet. The Guide Dog path was not of her choosing but in the time I have had her she has grown into a beautiful, affectionate girl that I’m sure now will share that space in someone else’s heart.

As a parent of two very different thinking children, I can honestly embrace the same philosophy. Not everyone wants to be a doctor, lawyer or politician but everyone deserves to be happy.

Failure is an attitude not an outcome – Harvey MacKay


Subscribe to our mailing list

Leave a Comment