[nagdu] Need advice on dog retirement planning

Alysha alyshaj at comcast.net
Thu Jul 17 22:23:02 UTC 2014


I unfortunately think the time is approaching when it will be best for my
first guide, Hammer, to retire. He's still healthy, but I've noticed him
slowing down a lot and becoming more hesitant and less enthusiastic when he
works. Sometimes, I take him for walks off harness with a sighted guide, and
he seems to enjoy these outings much more than he does when he has to work.
So I'm evaluating my options for what to do when he retires, and I was
hoping those of you who have gone through this process before could share
how you decided your dog's retirement plans and how it worked out.


I've always wanted to keep Hammer for his entire life. I think it would make
the process of getting a successor dog a lot less emotionally draining for
me, and he would be able to stay in a familiar environment with me. I know
with me he will always eat the best food and get the best vet care possible.
He is very laid back, and I honestly don't think he would be upset seeing
another dog working with me. But I have a full-time job, so he would be
alone all day. I would likely have to get a dog walker to come in the middle
of the day because he is a frequent reliever. I live in a condo, so I don't
have a yard or lots of space for him to run and play. I have two pet birds,
and I'm afraid I might be spread a little thin with having the two birds and
two dogs.


My aunt and uncle have expressed interest in adopting Hammer after he
retires. They're huge animal lovers, have a ton of land in Nebraska, and my
aunt owns her own accounting business so could take Hammer to the office
with her to hang out during the day. After my grandfather passed away, they
took care of his elderly dog and were quite patient and good with him until
he also passed away. She has a new rescue dog now though who acted
aggressively toward Hammer and made him very nervous on our last visit. I'm
not sure if the dogs would get used to each other or if it would be a
continuing problem. I live in Virginia, so I can't really work on
introducing them over time. I know another great family who might be
interested in adopting Hammer after retirement, but they work full-time, so
Hammer would be alone during the days there too.


I just want to do what's best for Hammer, but I'm having a tough time
figuring out what that might be! So I'd love to hear your experiences and
any advice anyone might have about this huge decision. Thanks for reading!



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