Blind comedian Neil Skene on the retirement of his trusty guide dog, Rumba.
This month, I’ve had to come to terms with the sad news that my loyal and trusted companion for the last 8 and a bit years Rumba is retiring and whilst I’m thankful that the reason is not health related, but merely that a suitable replacement K9 guide has been identified, it doesn’t make the parting of the ways any easier.
It did however get me thinking about all the publicity around veganism being so much more than just a diet, but more of a moral/ethical lifestyle choice around the abuse of animals and simply by using a dog as a guide, are blind people and any user of any type of assistance animals guilty of abusing them?
Previously I never gave this any thought, but the fact that the PC terminology is “I am a guide dog user” it could be argued that we are abusing the dog.
Now not one for being known for being very PC, I don’t see any credibility in this opinion, I see it much more as the dog being a loyal faithful companion who just happens to provide a guiding service and if you ever observe a guide dog at work, their tails are always wagging, so it is clearly a job they enjoy.
As anyone who has a pet of any kind knows, they give so much more! I like to think they get loads back in return.
I’m not having a go at veganism, as in many respects, I do support their thinking and dislike many aspects of the intense farming of animals, which I do consider to be abusive, but I must admit to having a few sleepless nights thinking over this moral dilemma.
I would not have had nearly such a colourful life without the independence and confidence given to me by all my previous four-legged companions over the years – and people tell me the look on Rumba’s face is usually one of happiness when she sees me pick up her lead.
But that might just be the knowledge that she might get some food – or as she is an older lady perhaps it’s her need to visit her nearest lamp post.
I’ll let you know how it all goes next month, but meantime enjoy a long, happy and well deserved retirement Rumba!