[nagdu] Letting Someone Else Work Your Dog

Marion Gwizdala blind411 at verizon.net
Sat Apr 23 11:20:20 UTC 2011

Dear All,
    I wanted to comment on the provision that many training programs have in their agreements concerning allowing someone else to work your dog. I frequently compare owning a guide dog to owning a vehicle, including the right to own the harness just as car owners own their keys. Similarly, if someone owns a vehicle and allows another to use it, that is fully within their rights, provided that person is a licensed driver and is either covered by the insurance policy or is somehow otherwise insured. Here are my thoughts on allowing another to work my dog.
    When I went to convention in years past with one of my previous dogs, I would allow someone who had never worked a dog "test drive" one of mine. I had no fear that the training program from which I received my dog would interfere with this, as I have ownership. Through this experience, I have introduced many people to the joy of working a guide dog. Now, I would probably not let a novice work my current guide dog, as he is a lot to handle.
    On Thursday, I fell and fractured my tibia; I am non-weight bearing for the next two months. My dog was going stir crazy, so my wife took him out and worked him. She will also be taking him to school with her on Monday. Merry is a seasoned guide dog handler and is very competent to work Sarge. In addition, Sarge needs to work. In fact, he is insisting on it! (grin) Merry will be working him regularly while I recover, keeping his skills up and giving him much needed exercise. I have absolutely no fear posting this message to a public list because I know GDF will not interfere with my choices. This is not true of other programs who seem to be looking for reasons to take a dog away just to reinforce their ability to do so and keep their consumers in line through fear and intimidation.

fraternally yours,
Marion Gwizdala

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