Service Dogs Enrich My Life
Going through the process to receive a successor service dog allows me to reflect. Last fall I celebrated my 40th birthday. Honestly I didn’t know if I’d ever see that milestone. Born with the leading genetic cause of infant death, my parents were told I’d be lucky to live beyond 3 when they found out I have SMA. Each and every day I exceed expectations and live a fulfilled life.
Living independently is in my nature. When I see advertisements for the latest gadgets I make a mental note. My parents probably think I was nuts clipping articles on helper monkeys and automatic door openers. One day a Dateline special aired featuring a disabled woman with a service dog helping her do laundry. Instantly I knew I needed a service dog to enhance my life. My first CCI sd Iken came into my life five years later.
My life changed the moment his leash was in my hands. “I” became “we” as he was constantly by my side. He helped me with physical tasks and along with my cat, made a great companion. When he became sick with cancer and his life was cut short it was a lonely difficult winter. Luckily, Roy came into my life shortly thereafter. I couldn’t fathom how CCI would manage to match me with another extraordinary dog, but they did. For 8 ½ years he blessed my life before he passed away unexpectedly. Both Iken and Roy had distinct personalities. When I think of them they make me smile.
Having a service dog enriches my life. Can I live without a service dog? The short answer is yes, but why would I want to. Last year I met with a rep demoing various technology. His selling point for this one product was that it could pick up virtually anything from the floor. I smiled and simply said, “My service dog can do that.”
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