Thursday, October 8, 2009

No one sees for the Seeing Eye Dog

Think about the premise- a friendly dog who acts as the eyes for the visually impaired, plowing the road, alerting for danger and serving as lovingly loyal companion. The dog, by action, demonstrates his true worth and value.

But what about the owner? How is he worthy of his canine gift and trusty assistant? One imagines the owner plying the dog with treats and affection and space to bask in his glory of dogdom, to sniff and run and bark and enjoy what comes naturally to him.

Not always the likely outcome for the seeing eye dog. Take, for instance, the dog who takes his owner on the crowded city bus. He is relegated to the floor under the seat, joining the array of dustbunnies, discarded gum wrappers and bent Metrocards. His glossy fur becomes matted w debris and ever so often his soft paw trampled by the clodding feet of impatient riders directed to move to the back. He does not speak nor wimper but his eyes betray the sadness that is his life- to silently service, without compensation nor acknowledgement, a life filled with the thoughts of open fields and endless sunshine, of canine friends and welcoming tails, of fur rubs and belly strokes, someday, somewhere, but not today, nor tomorrow, but someday, as he gently licks his trampled paw one more time to ease the pain he endures.

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