Maeve's Manifesto and Graduation Speech

Fall 2010 Advocacy Unlimited Advocacy Class Graduation Speech

My name is Maeve. I am not the human reading this speech. I am the dog at her feet.

Everybody keeps talking about how I'm the first dog to graduate as an advocate. Come on now, by our very nature dogs are better advocates than humans. Who is more loyal? Who keeps secrets better? Who fights to the death for your cause? Who best consoles you when you fail? Certainly not humans.

It's not my species that makes my graduation a sensation. It's my age! I just celebrated my first birthday and already I'm a psychiatric service dog for Joanne and an advocate for all people with psychiatric disabilities. As a hobby I do a little therapy work.

I know you're only human. I shouldn't expect you to have the emotional intelligence of a dog, let alone a poodle. But it's been really hard to sit quietly under the conference table every Tuesday for months without howling out a truth that would be obvious to a brain damaged Irish Setter.

What are you people thinking? You lock up your sick in kennels instead of cuddling and licking them. You feed them poisonous chemicals with side effects you wouldn't tolerate if your dog experiencing them, You isolate them from your packs.

If the drug companies could patent pets, then animals would be the first line of treatment for every condition in the DSM. Animals interact with no drugs, can't cause metabolic syndrome or diabetes, never overwhelm kidneys or liver, are approved for pediatric use, and improve both mental and physical health -- EVEN OVER THE COURSE OF A LIFETIME OF USE. Rather than a few 6-week clinical trials, thousands of years of experience demonstrate our safety and effectiveness.

If you want to help people with psychiatric disabilities, then get them animals. NOW. Look at your patient, your consumer, your lover, your relative, your friend, and ask why you aren't working to get them an animal NOW.

Federal laws gave these people the right to animals decades ago, yet no one seems to know this. Why not? What is more important than the right to unconditional love in your own home? Don't give me that "we're only human" excuse. At the end of this ceremony I expect you to get cracking.

Go to my website: We are going across the United States to talk to everyone we can find. If you need more information, please talk to Joanne or invite us to talk to your group.

Thank you and may you all go to the dogs!

See more info about our tour: