Doubt. I was full of it. What was I thinking when I signed up to be a volunteer puppy-raiser for Leader Dogs for the Blind?
Caspian, the one-year-old Future Leader Dog that I cared for one week in June of 2008, was well-behaved and no trouble, really. He stayed in the kitchen. He backed away from my nervous-nilly Gypsy. He ran into his crate at night with no complaints. But he was huge. I know. I've said it before, but he was easily double Gypsy's petite size, and that was alot of dog in our small townhouse.
Caspian was so big he didn't quite fit in my Chevy S10 pickup when I took him with me on my three-day-a-week-Invisible-Fence-field job. Leader Dogs are trained to ride on the passenger side floor, but Caspian gazed at me quizzically when I told him, GET IN. "You're kidding, right?" I read in his eyes. "You expect ME to fit THERE?" Somehow he wedged himself in, draping his upper body over the seat. By the end of the workday he was exhausted; he reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting as he slid down the seat in a heap.
Caspian sat patiently before eating, but drooled puddles on our tile floor. He shed copious amounts of black-lab fur. Too bad I didn't know about the program that recycles hair to make oil spill collectors--Caspian could have single-handedly solved the recent disaster in the Gulf!
Apologies to Oliver Hardy, but I was feeling like this Leader-Dog-thing of mine was just another fine mess I'd gotten myself into. How could we manage a large, shedding dog in our small space? Andy was accommodating, but was it fair of me to subject him to this?