So my human ‘mum’ had big plans for me, that much I knew from a very early age. 12 years later I’m heading for old age having rarely been parted from her.
What happened in between? Work! Hard work! Well maybe not, but every time that harness came over my head I knew playtime was over.
We working dogs have been invaluable to our humans partners for centuries – each designed for a particular task. My breed in particular haven’t change since we first appeared in the 18th century on the Scottish Borders. Farmers then used our seemingly scrappy little forms for ratting in their barns and hunting hill foxes, otters, rabbit, and badgers. It was a hard life and I’m very glad things have changed in the last 300 years.
I was created for a purpose. That much I knew. But in all honesty I would never have chosen this career path. A ‘Border’ not really being the first choice as a disabled person’s assistance dog, I’m sure. But given the tasks I was trained to do, my compact, agile and quick to learn temperament has proved to be a huge asset. Picking up and retrieving out of reach items such as underwear, clothes pegs, keys, inhalers and mobile phones. That last one being somewhat tricky. I’ve met MPs and film stars; eaten at the best restaurants; watched performances in theatres, cinemas, and music festivals; as well as participated in triathlons. All provided a rich life experience that ratting was never likely to fulfil.
Small? Definitely. Wilful? Probably. Hungry? Always! Celebrate International Assistant Dog Week with me and share my blog.
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