Dog blog: international assistance dog week

Hey!As its International Assistance Dogs Week, I thought I would introduce myself. My name’s Jazzy, I’m two years old and I’ve officially been working for seven months now!
 
I love my job because it’s never the same from day to day. It can be demanding, but it’s very rewarding. I know I’m very lucky to have my job. Most of my kind have to stay at home all day while their owners are at work or school. Not me though; My job is to go with my owner, everywhere. And I mean everywhere! This year alone I’ve attended lectures and work placements, I’ve been to restaurants, cafes and even the cheeky pub or two, I’ve been to the cinema, I’ve been to comedy gigs, I’ve even been to a play in the West End!
 
I get on well with the boss too which is always a good thing. It’s taken us a while for us to get to know each other and to establish a good working relationship, but now that we’re there we’re like a well-oiled machine. We’ve gotten really good at realising when one of us has a problem so the other can step up to take charge.
 
For example, I know that the boss doesn’t like crowded places, so when we find ourselves in the middle of a mob I do my best to get us out of the situation quickly and calmly. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of sudden loud noises; they can totally throw my focus and give me a bit of a fright if I’m not careful. Thankfully, the boss has a knack of changing her voice to get my attention and to get me back on track. Dream team or what?
 
There are a lot of perks to my job too. I know I’m doing a good job, just because of the number of people who like to tell me so every day! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but we can barely go to the shops without being stopped by someone telling the boss how beautiful I am and asking to give me a fuss.
 
I know that the boss is usually very flattered by this, but sometimes she has to ask them not to fuss me, in case I get distracted from my work. I’m never one to shy away from attention, but I do understand when the boss has to do this as well because I know I have to be focused when I’m on the job.
 
Some people think that those of us in my line of work get no rest, but I assure you it’s definitely not all work and no play! I get plenty of playtime and time to relax, I overheard the boss tell someone once that I have more toys than she has shoes! That was a slight exaggeration in my opinion, but it’s true that I have plenty of choice of things to play with.
 
We go for a big long walk to a park or a field every week when I get a chance to really let my hair down. I can run, jump, roll around as much as I like, as long as I always go back to the boss when she calls.
 
I’m always rewarded with a tasty treat for good behaviour, but only at the bosses discretion. I need to watch my figure after all! Someone thought they were being kind by slipping me a treat without the bosses permission once, but the boss had to tell them off because I had an upset stomach for the rest of the day, which meant I had to take time off work!
 
I know I must be special to have been picked for this kind of job. Lots of my friends didn’t make it through the 18 months of training I had to do beforehand, and I can understand why. It’s a difficult job sometimes, always having to be on the lookout for obstacles and trip hazards, keeping an eye on the boss behind me and keeping an ear out for her instructions.
 
Lots of people think that it’s always me making the big decisions like when to cross the road, but I’ll let you into a little secret. It’s actually the boss that tells me when it’s safe to cross, by listening to the traffic. She understands cars and traffic better than I do, so it’s safer to leave that decision up to her.
 
But I have to make the big decisions sometimes too, like when there’s a car parked on the pavement and there isn’t enough room for us to get passed. When this happens I have to stay put, no matter how much the boss tries to encourage me forwards, until she realises that I’m being stubborn for a reason! Then I have to help the boss figure out how to get around the obstacle safely, which can sometimes mean us walking in the road if the pavement is completely blocked.
 
I suppose I should’ve mentioned this earlier really, but you see, my job is to help the boss get around safely because she can’t see very well. Essentially, I have to be the bosses eyes. My job even has a fancy title. I am a Guide Dog. It’s a great job; I get lots of breaks, the job security is brilliant and I’m always employee of the month! If you like challenges, don’t mind long hours and like attention, I’d definitely recommend it.
 
The boss wrote a piece for the papers a couple of months back, explaining how I’ve helped her and what kind of things we get up to. I really enjoyed posing for the pictures for the article and now we sometimes even get recognised in the street! If you’d like to check it out, here is the link to our story:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/porthmadog-students-new-lease-life-9441333
 
So that’s it from me for now. I need to get back to my friend Bella, who the boss and I are staying with over the summer until we go back to college in the Autumn. It’s great having another four-legged friend to play with, even if she does take up all the room in my bed sometimes!
 
Until next time,
 
J

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