I have been reading a blog for about a year from a woman who has gone through what I'm going through now (RP, young kids, ... all of it), and she does it with so much poise and power, it's going to make my blog look like swamp water and phlegm, but I'll direct you there anyway, because I truly admire and adore her. Becky at Cruisin' with Cricket has had a Guide Dog (Cricket. Pay attention!) for many, many years, and she has been so inspirational in my decision to apply for a Guide Dog of my own. Her dogs have been vital to her success and support in losing her sight, and it's really such a beautiful relationship to watch unfold.
I am eligible for a dog now, if I wanted to go that route, and I've begun the application process a couple of times, but I've been placed on waiting lists, or asked to live at a training facility for at least a month, while I bond with my dog and learn the ropes. Both of these things have discouraged me enough to just give up on it, for now. Waiting lists are out of my control, and living somewhere without my kids for a month would just make me a great big Saddy Pants, but I could exchange one for the other, and really there are enough training facilities in the country where neither of these is really an issue. I'm just being all Excusey.
One of my biggest hangups about having a guide dog is the fact that I don't have a very active life. I walk my daughter to school, and back, and I walk to peoples' homes in my neighborhood, but I'm mostly at my house all day, and I don't know if that's because I don't have a dog to help me get to the grocery store, or because I'm just lazy and it's too hot to walk anywhere. I would just hate for my guide dog to get all dumpy like me. I liken it to buying a limo, but driving it myself. To Walmart. To buy orange soda. Just a lot of "What's the point?" in there, you know?
We also just watched a couple of dogs for my friend who was moving, and even though I loved their company (SNUGGLES!!), I realized our house, or more pointedly, our yard is just not an ideal place for a dog. It's big enough, but it's all dirt, and dogs like to kick that kind of thing up in the air, causing everything in our house to get caked with it. They were only here for two days, and it took me a whole extra day just to clean up after them, and we were all sneezing like crazy. Not a make or break kind of problem, but it's something to consider. We'll probably get grass next year or the year after, and then it'll be a non-issue.
Lastly, my mom hates dogs. I know that she would probably make an exception for a dog that gave me independence and security, but I also know that she's not the only one who feels this way about animals inside her home. I just don't know enough about how people would react. However, I am approaching 30, and I've learned that 30 is the age when you start to realize that what makes other people comfortable is not a good enough reason to not get what you need. I'm getting there, but it's slow-going. More therapy would probably help. I feel like I made a huge leap in the right direction when I stopped telling myself that I shouldn't "take" a dog from someone who needs it more than me. As my friend Erin would say, "Pbbbbfft"
So, I don't know, maybe I'll direct the question to you guys. If you were in my situation, would you take the leap into Guide Dog Bliss, or would you wait it out? ... until....?