Sunday, December 4, 2011

Service Dogs

Longtime readers know I like a good arguement.  The other day my greyhound adoption group received this email:

To all Greyhound Adoption groups I know,

Please check out this short tv clip and see for yourself how much pressure this big man is applying on the poor greyhound's back. This greyhound will end up with spinal problems and pain, there is no doubt in my mind.

I cannot believe that this group thinks or believes it is okay to put so much pressure on a greyhounds back. This infuriates me!

They claim that GPA is supporting them. I cannot believe that any GPA group would support this abuse. This greyhound will have nothing but spinal problems and pain in his years to come.

Have we forgotten that we are there for the greyhounds and have to be their guardians?

Please write to this group that you are not supporting this training method or the goal they have to give out greyhounds as service dogs.

Click Here to see the video she is refering too (sorry there is a commerical).  Well, I disagreed so I responded:

I'm on the board of Southeastern Greyhound Adoption. I disagree with your view. The man is not putting any pressure on the middle of the greyhound's spine. Instead, the pressure is over the greyhound's shoulders and hips and therefore the weight is being supported by the greyhound's legs. I would not expect that greyhound to suffer any spinal injuries from that.

Our group likes to see greyhounds pursue 2nd careers whether it be pet therapy, meet & greets, dog agility, obedience, jogging/hiking/walking companion, or service dog. In fact, we have one greyhound in our club that is currently a service dog. While some enjoy being couch potatoes... others benefit greatly from a new job. It is the reason we have removed "retired" from our literature and website.

Her response to that was:

I disagree with you and have several groups who disagree-this is not safe for a greyhound, you can check with greyhound savvy vets.

So I wanted to know more about their findings:

If its not safe for a greyhound, then it would not be safe for any dog. Why limit to just the greyhound?

What are the vets saying is happening to the spine when you put pressure on the shoulders or hips? What are the mechanics causing the injury and what is the injury? I think your claim needs to be backed up by something a little more substantial. I did a search for service dog injuries and couldn't find anything.

I know your heart is in the right place.

See, I was even trying to be nice!  Then she says:

If you do not know about anatomy of a greyhound, you should not be into greyhounds.

Ha! New adoption prerequisit - Greyhound Anatomy classes. Seriously, is that the best she can do?  When you have no facts and a baseless claim, insults are the next best thing.  My response:

You are funny. :-) Due to my understanding of anatomy, I was able to explain why a greyhound is physically able to perform the service job without injury. But being open minded, I gave you the floor to explain your understanding. Instead of doing that, you insulted me... so I have to assume you know a lot less about anatomy than you think you do.

Since she still had no facts, she responds:

I have no time and better things to do than to go into meaningless e-mails.  Hope you understand.

Of course, she doesn't. Hopefully she will use her time to research the facts. If you do receive this inflated, factless email, please make up your own mind before you automatically support it.  It is perfectly fine to disagree with me, but you better be able to support it with something other than emotion.