Tough Decisions…..

Morning chaps, how are we all today? If you’ve got a minute I could really use your advice with something because I just cannot decide what to do. To explain, I’ve been living alone for more than 4 years now and, to be honest, I feel pretty lonely some of the time. Yesterday, a friend came up with a solution that would also involve helping others at the same time. Should be easy to say ‘yes’ shouldn’t it but…….

Morning chaps, how are we all today? If you’ve got a minute I could really use your advice with something because I just cannot decide what to do. To explain, I’ve been living alone for more than 4 years now and, to be honest, I feel pretty lonely some of the time. Yesterday, a friend came up with a solution that would also involve helping others at the same time. Should be easy to say ‘yes’ shouldn’t it but…….

Her idea was for me to take on the training of a guide dog puppy, you know, those adorable bundles of fluff that eat your furniture and capture your heart? As soon as she said it I broke into the biggest smile and my instant answer was ‘yes!!!!! I want a puppy!!!’ As she’s not one to let the grass grow under her feet, she whisked me off to the local Guide Dog Centre and we had a long chat with the lady in charge. She was lovely and explained everything to me; they would pay for the food and vets bills and the dog would live with me in my apartment. Once a month we would attend training classes at the centre and I would be expected to walk the dog twice a day, instill discipline and give  it bucket loads of affection….

This is where things started to get tricky because I know myself well. The affection would be no problem as I am desperate to have something to love; I have friends and family of course but no real outlet for the love that just seems to sit inside my chest in a huge leaden lump. Relationships with people are tricky and complex but animals love unconditionally and I crave that simplicity of feeling.

The exercise would certainly be easy as I am happy to walk for miles and I can’t help thinking that a puppy would be more fun than my i-phone which is what I usually have for company. The other upside of training a guide dog is that, unlike other dogs, they can go anywhere with you so, basically, we could do everything together….

The problem would definitely be the discipline side of things – saying no when the little tyke wants to sleep on the bed with me (not allowed) or curl up on the sofa next to me in the evening (not allowed) or wants to pick the choicest tidbits from my plate (definitely not allowed). I would have to concentrate on the dog’s training because, after all, he would be doing a job and that won’t be possible if I allow him to do whatever he feels like.

These thoughts were all hurtling through my mind at a rate of knots when, all of a sudden, they all crashed to a standstill to make room for a new one which entered the arena with all guns blazing…….

“you’re going to have to say goodbye”

Although, it had been mentioned a few minutes before I hadn’t really cottoned on to the significance of something the boss lady had said: ‘the training is for one year’. So, after living with, walking, training, playing and loving an animal for one year it would be taken away to live with someone else. That someone would need this dog, would be reliant on it, would deserve it……


I would love to be able to help someone in that way, this is such a very good cause! I love dogs and would just adore to have one around, even though I know it could chew its way through most of my possessions BUT I don’t know that I could say goodbye. I’ve done that too many times in the last few years and I don’t know that I could cope with it again.

So, here’s my question: Is the love that I’ll share for one year worth the pain of saying goodbye? I honestly don’t know so I’d really appreciate any advice that you have to offer




Author: All About Life

Middle-aged 20 something

50 thoughts on “Tough Decisions…..”

  1. It’s a very personal decision. If you feel that the balance of have the company of a lovable puppy/ dog for a year will compensate for the pain of saying goodbye, then you should say yes to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s really hard decision I must say….
    Saying goodbye after loving someone for one year feels like 365 needles hitting together on same place, that is your mind…..
    But It’s possible on the other side, If you’re too strong to leave…..
    Sometimes we have to take tough decisions in life where only you can help…….❤🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning Lisa,

    Strangely enough I considered doing the same thing for almost the same reasons a few years ago. I too wavered at exactly the same thought as you.

    I wanted to love and be loved unconditionally and also had a huge void and a heart full of love. I kept however asking myself precisely the same question as you are – could I bear to walk away at the end?

    All rational and logical thoughts were telling me I was doing a noble thing and I knew that was true. What I did not know was if I could give up something I had come to love. At the time I told myself no person or animal lives forever and I had had animals before that had died (the ultimate going away) and I had coped with that eventually. Before though had been just that – “before”
    – Before I had found myself saying goodbye to people I loved and that had scarred my heart immeasurably. I was aware I was now far more vulnerable and eventually I decided I would not be able to do it.

    The people who do train guide dog puppies do a truly amazing job and I am sure you would be excellent at it if you decide to go with it. I would not want to dissuade you in any way. You will have my total admiration if you go for it and undoubtedly the person whose life will be greatly enhanced will be eternally grateful. I just know I could not manage to do it at the moment.

    Having said all that I have not given any advice at all have I?

    Let us all know what you decide.

    Liz xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you my lovely, that does actually help. I suppose it comes down to whether I’m strong enough and I’m not sure I am. I will keep everyone posted for sure 😊
      How you doing, I sent you a text this morning but not sure if you’re phone is still playing up… love and hugs xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My single friend cares for her mother and with her nieces all having babies she decided she would have one too; a puppy – not to treat as a ‘fur baby’ I hasten to add! But when she loses her mother she wants something to focus on and she selected a dog from a good breeder ( a poodle mix ) that she can take visiting to hospitals and care homes – I can’t remember what the official term is. She won’t have to say goodbye!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you have two options. See if they’ll let you have two puppies but allow you to keep one. Alternatively get a rescue dog for keeps and think how pleased Michaela will be😉

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    1. I would think that training two dogs at the same time would be very difficult, and how would you take both everywhere with you? I hesitate to give advice because I am terrible at goodbyes (definitely not strong there), but I can share an experience with you. This summer Einsteins best friend died, and he had a choc lab that had major separation anxiety from Dan, an no real training to speak of. I offered to take him in and work with him for a bit (thinking it would let me hold on a bit longer, and allow Dan’s wife to find a smaller place for them if Dutch was trained.) He was with me for only 2 months, I trained him and gave him back, but it was hard as hell. It helps to know that I helped them, but I don’t think I would do it again. I have a Boston Bulldog that I trained as a “therapy dog” and I got alot of enjoyment out of taking her to hospitals and nursing homes for the 2 years we did it. Hard decision to make Lisa….good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Grace, your sharing that experience does help. A year is a long time to love something isn’t it? I’m like you, so torn between wanting to help and have to let go at the end of it. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, that would be really tough for me too. I’ve thought about doing something like that before too. On the one hand I think to share love is always worth it even if there will be a goodbye. But I confess that would be hard for me too. Have you ever thought about doing Therapet? It’s a similar theory but in the end the dog will always stay with you and be your companion. And you would meet more people through the therapy part once he’s trained. Best wishes with your decision 🌷

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Would you be prepared to encounter all the associated feelings of grief that giving the pup back would cause it probably one question to consider? That said if you missed the little tyke after the time and felt too lonely again could you not adopt another puppy or have a break and do it again? Just some suggestions. Its not an easy decision. It took me ages to commit to getting my dog six years ago…though its not the same as I don’t have to give him back. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know, that’s the thing, I’m looking for something to love because I’m grieving and I’m sure a puppy would help that but then, at the end of the year, would all the negative feelings come flooding back? I could get another one afterwards that’s for sure but then I’d go through it all again. I think I need to keep mulling it over until it feels like the right decision if you know what I mean. Thanks so much for your input 😊 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Could you foster pups or dogs that are waiting for new homes? That’s less disciplined. If you like cats, most shelters are in desperate need of fosters for kittens. If you don’t feel 100% that training a guide dog is something you could do, then perhaps it’s not for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The training is OK, that doesn’t worry me in fact that would be a pleasure, it’s just having to give the dog back at the end of the year that I’m really struggling with and the same would apply with foster animals too. I’m really really soft with animals and get attached very quickly. Nice idea though so thank you Sheri :O) xx

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with Sheri, that you might like to try a less emotionally wrenching option. On the other hand, if feel up to taking on the challenge to grow emotionally, go with your friend’s suggestion. Either way, it’s a tough decision that only you can make. Hoping this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t make that decision for you. What I can offer you is a new perspective, maybe. Perhaps try thinking of it from this angle:
    You won’t be saying goodbye, you’ll be sending that love out in the world to another human being. You’ll be opening the door to the next service dog you get to help raise, and that opens the door for you to send all that love to yet another person that needs it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It takes great strength & brutal soul-searching honesty to admit that. I don’t know that I could do what you’re contemplating, for much the same reason as you.
        Whatever you decide, I got your back😊

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooh, tough one!
    Firstly – you are wonderful for considering this Lisa. And you would be great.

    Echoing comments above, I wonder if getting two but six months apart would work, and keep on like that so you always have one around but don’t have two tiny puppies to deal with at the same time.

    Good luck with your decision my friend. X

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would say “Go for it!” Lisa. You are not saying goodbye when you pass the puppy on, you are giving a very important part of yourself away to someone who will appreciate it for years and years. The good thing is that you can give that same part of you away many times, and it will get better every time you do it. Your love will always be part of that dog, and that dog will always be part of you.
    Alternatives, if you really can’t do it, are to be a paid dog walker, or a volunteer dog walker/pet sitter for a rescue centre.
    Therapy pets are becoming much more widespread now and are not restricted to dogs. I’ve seen rabbits, birds, llamas, even donkeys and horses used for therapy.
    Whatever you decide, we want photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really lovely way of looking at it Peter :O)
      Yes, dog walking or pet sitter could be a good idea – all of the pleasure with none of the responsibility and still the opportunity to love and bond with animals.
      Everyone is giving me so many great ideas, I’m really glad I asked the question.
      And yes of course, if I go ahead, I will definitely be posting loads of photos :O) xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Another possibility might be to choose a breed you love (we love Boxers) and see if there is a local breed rescue in your area. Then you could consider “fostering” an animal until a suitable permanent home is found. In that way, your charge can sleep with you if you like, and even snuggle on the couch – a welcome dose of love for an animal who may have had unfair circumstances in its life. And if you fall in love too hard…well, it’s what we call a “foster fail” and an animal finds a permanent adoptive home. Best of luck to you in your decision! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you should do it! You sound very passionate about doing it and here are the two other bonuses in addition to helping people:
    1. You will meet other people who are also passionate about the training
    2. You don’t have to worry about the dog food, care and other products 😅😅

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yeah, I couldn’t do it. My puppies are on the bed, on the couch, and on my lap with me and the missus. I’d fail that test right there. Plus, they’re lifers. From go to stop, they are my pals. I could not say goodbye after that first year.

    But that’s me. It sounds like a noble cause, a good “test,” and a beautiful way to make a new friend. If you find the dog life is for you, you can adopt one of your own after the year and spoil the living beejeebies outta him/her.

    What do we say about the comfort zone?

    I say go for it, Lisa. Take the plunge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your good advice Tom but I’m still cogitating; I’d be like you with the pups in the sofa and the bed. I’ve always tended to treat animals like people (only they’re nicer most of the time 😊 ) xxx

      Liked by 2 people

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