Saturday, April 19, 2008 -- 6:42 PM I finally went to the dogs today -- quite literally. Today, my sister and I went to a dog Expo in Denver. I knew she had been looking for a dog for herself for several months, so I thought that maybe if I went with her, I might be able to prod her along in making a decision on what kind to get. I spent an enjoyable three hours with her even though she did not find what she was looking for. When I saw my psychologist (Dr. Martin) this week, she told me that she thought I needed to have a service/companion dog. I have been giving the idea some thought for more than a year because my niece suggested it last summer. My niece pushed hard for me to get one, but I always came up with a reason why I should not. I thought my reasons were legitimate, or at least that was what I told myself, so I was able to put off making a decision until now. I am really facing a tough decision here. Dr. Martin seemed to see my dilemma before I even mentioned it to her. She asked me if I thought that I deserved a dog. I said no. In my own mind, I think of all the children, and even adults, who need to have a service/companion dog more than I do. Dr. Martin seemed to think that such a dog could be a large help to me. I have a dilemma as to what I should do. With the exception of the last ten years, I have always had a dog, so I have no fear of them. The lack of having one has been one of my biggest disappointments since moving to Denver. I realize that it is a responsibility to have one, and they have certain needs for which I have not yet been able to find solutions. The answers are out there, but I have just put off looking for them. As we kept wandering throughout the expo hall today, we kept running into people using wheelchairs, and who had dogs on leashes along with them. Each time we ran into one of them, my sister would nudge me in the shoulder and say, "See there? Why not you?" I tried to find a logical answer, but it just was not there. There was a booth set up by people who were promoting their local company, which finds dogs and trains them to be service/companion dogs. My sister spent considerable time talking to the woman who ran the booth. While she was doing that, some of their dogs were checking me out. One gave me the "sniff" test before putting its head into my lap. (That almost turned me into mush.) A second one lay down on the floor and went to sleep at the foot of my wheelchair. No one had told them to do that, they just did it on their own. Most places have a waiting list that runs up to two years or more. I think this company only has a waiting list of nine months, which includes training time. Although my sister does not know exactly where their agency is located, I do. I suspect that before long I will be making a visit there in order to talk with the people in more detail about my situation and possibly being evaluated to see whether they can help me. I brought a lot of literature home with me, and now I have to wade through it all in order to try and decide if this is what I really want. I am pretty sure that I have already made up my mind to try and get a dog, but I'm fearful of getting my hopes up too high only to have them dashed by something going wrong.