Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Letting One Go--Macha Gets a Job

I kept Macha back for myself and trained her in herding and a little bit of obedience. As she approached 2 years old, my older females started making her life miserable (which meant I would have to keep her separate from my other girls) and she was a dog who *needed* a lot of 1 on 1 time with me, which was hard to provide while also keeping her separate from the other females. So, I looked around for other opportunities for her.

Macha at 11 months

This summer, she was evaluated for work as a guide dog/service dog by a woman with sensory processing issues and passed the evaluations with flying colors. Macha has taken to SD training with great joy and loves to get her vest/harness on so she can go lie quietly under a table in some restaurant or library. She's well-mannered and handles crowds and lots and lots of people and strange sights and sounds and different footings and smells. She has learned to curl up and fit under a chair, too--which is a funny sight, because she's a fairly leggy girl.

So now she has her very own person that she accompanies almost everywhere. She's still learning some of the finer details of her job, but she and her new person are very happy together. To top it off, she just got her OFA Good/elbows clear ratings.

So, she's no longer my dog. It was a hard decision for me, but it is such a great home for her and she is learning to help someone else. She has a job and a person she loves--and no matter how hard it was to let go, her happiness and the fact that someone else *needed* her trumped all.

That's one of the things that is hard when you get involved in breeding dogs--I can love them all, but I can't keep them all. It wouldn't be in my best interests or in theirs. And recognizing when a dog will be happier in a different situation and acting to improve her life--and mine--is an important element of being able to stay involved and active with the dogs I do have and is crucial to making sure all of their needs are met.