“Look Mummy, a puppy.” The woman smiled but kept a firm hold on her daughter’s hand as the old man entered with a small bundle of golden fur in his arms.
The old man nodded, “He’s a training pup. One day, with a bit of luck he will be a seeing eye dog.”
“A whosit, whatsit?” the child looked up at her mother for an explanation.
“Well some people’s eyes don’t work properly, not even with glasses. So they need some help getting around places where they can’t see where the steps are. Dogs can be trained to help lead the person around safely.”
“Really, wow” wide eyes were transferred to the pup. “But he’s so little. Is he for a baby whose eyes don’t work? But they can’t walk anyway.”
The old man laughed, impressed by her logic, “True, no he needs to learn a lot to be a guide dog, so he has to start very young. He’s still learning to be a good dog first.”
“Oh like learning potty training and your table manners before you are allowed to go to dinner parties.” The two adults shared a smile.
“Yes, exactly like that.”
“Well, it’s very hard but you will get there I’m sure pup. Then you can learn to see things. I’m sure you will be very good.”
The pup gave a short yip and licked her outstretched hand. The lift doors opened and the young girl waved goodbye as she and her mother left. The old man grinned and looked down at the pup. “She’s right, I think you will do a great job.”
(For my new niece May, even though she didn’t make the course. I’m sure she only failed because she knew our family wanted a dog so desperately.)