I will confess, I have thought of giving this job to an accredited organization and having them return her to me two years later when she is fully trained. On the really bad days I have thought of giving up altogether and of going back to life as it was before without a service dog.
But then at the end of the day, after I'd cried tears of frustration for heaven knows how long, I heard Taylor Swift's new single "Mine" come on the radio.
As she reached the chorus: "Do you remember we were sittin' there by the water? You put your arm around me for the first time/ You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter/ you are the best thing that's ever been mine/ I thought of all the memories Lucy and I have shared just in the past 6 months we've been together: the first time I held her little creme colored body in my arms, all the games of fetch and goodnight kisses and walks and even the long hours spent training.
And then I realized something, if I let go now, all this would stop but more importantly, she wasn't living at the breeder's house anymore. Summer was over. She was my dog now, Maybe I will never be able to raise a child. However, I can raise a dog.
If I had to choose between life before Lucy and life now, I would certainly choose life as it is now because when all is said and done, she has allowed me the sense of what it means to have a permanent friend, a real friend who doesn't judge me or ridicule me but just wants to go with me and hang out all the time, and for someone on the spectrum or someone with any disability that is huge!
Growing up, I have become better and better at knowing which of my acquaintances will remain friends with me in the long run and which will stay friends for awhile but eventually fade away because of my lack of social connection with others and not knowing how to make interesting conversation read social cues, and so on, all hallmark signs of autism.
Thank God dogs don't care about things like eye contact and the latest video games. For every bad day I have with Lucy, there are about a million more good ones. Lucy isn't going anywhere. If there's one thing Taylor Swift does well other than sing, it's help me realize that my dog is the best thing that's ever happened to me.