Apart from 'lurking' on a Facebook group for RA suffers, I have resisted signing up to online support groups in case by registering myself as such, I would get worse. I do know how weird this is, by the way. However, on Friday I succumbed and joined NRAS. Yesterday morning, I was flicking through their website and found an article on Canine Partners. Now, before I go any further, I want to state that I am not mocking the programme or its service users in any way at all as I am sure that it has been of great benefit to many RA sufferers. Basically, these dogs can be trained to carry out chores for you. Thinking of our dog, Monty, who has never lifted a tea towel in his life or offered to go out and buy some milk, this is a hard concept to grasp. Apparently, they are able to pass you your purse at the checkout or assist with dressing. This is disturbing on many fronts and raises questions about the limitations of their responsibilities. Firstly, do you they do the scanning at the self checkout? When purchasing alcohol, is their age calculated in dog or human years? I know for a fact that if you go shopping with your children in tow, you end up with more treats than you would normally buy. Does this mean coming back with a trolley full of dog biscuits? On the personal care issue: do they pick out your clothes for you to wear and if so, is their choice influenced by their colourblindness? I think I'll have to ask Monty. Oh no, I can't, he's deaf. So answering the phone is out then?
I think I might join a few more of these organisations. It's been such fun.