Cisco, my 4th Seeing Eye ® dog, just turned 2. To celebrate, we invited Bosco over to romp around the back yard and to share a special doggy treat. Youd be amazed at the variety of frozen ice cream-like treats they have for dogs. I had a hard time making a choice, but they both enjoyed the apple and peanut butter flavor.
This isnt exactly professional behavior, but the guy cant be on duty all the time. When he has his harness off, hes almost like any other dog. People often ask me if my guide dogs ever get to play or if they guide me around the house. Play is an important part of anybodys life, even guide dogs. No, he is off duty when hes at home. The harness comes off as soon as we enter the house. There are some differences though. Cisco is never offered food from the table. His diet is dry dog food and a doggy cookie at bedtime. Hes not allowed on the furniture unless invited. I know dog guide users who never let their dogs get on the couch or the bed and others who do. Cisco is groomed every single day, twice a day in the summertime when hes shedding like crazy. When its time for him to empty as we say, I take him out in the back yard on a leash. We go out 46 times a day. Because I use a plastic pickup bag, I clean up after him immediately after hes done. This way, I can keep track of his eliminations and be confident that when I take him into public places, I wont have to worry about an accident. His feeding times and emptying times are on a pretty strict schedule. He gets his teeth brushed daily and his ears cleaned once a month. He hasnt needed a bath since we came home together in June, because I keep him clean with special combs and brushes, but hell probably get an appointment at the groomers sometime in the spring. Boscos mom, Sam, cares for him in much the same way I care for Cisco, although Bosco is not a guide dog. Thats why these occasional play dates are such fun for them both. They can do laps around my fenced in yard, chew on each others necks, and chase each other with such joy that its like a party every time.