In recognition of service dogs

August 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm 2 comments

Matt and ClarenI made a really basic mistake the other day with my service dog Claren: I trusted her to do what I wanted.

She didn’t. Even veteran service dogs like Claren sometimes find it hard to know what their human partner wants.

Nothing bad happened. She just wandered into another room instead of the one I was in and did not come when called.

In her defense, she is 9 so she might be a little deaf. Plus, she almost always knows what I am thinking and does the right thing.

The trainers told those of us getting a service dog seven and a half years ago to remember that the dogs aren’t robots and we can’t always trust them to do what we want.

After having Claren with me almost every hour of every day of those seven and a half years, though, it is awful hard not to trust her.

She carries my lunch daily. She picks up what I drop. She makes my wheelchair less intimidating for both me and people who want to talk to me. And she is always there. Not most of the time. Always.

If I fall, before someone can come to help me, she is there. She knows she can’t help, so she just lies down next to me, or if possible, on top of me. And she waits for me.

How can I not trust someone like that?

Guest Blogger Matt Trott

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. judith Guy  |  August 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    There were puppy raisers in the pub the other night, giving their puppy a test run. I monopolized them for ages telling them what wonderful human beings they were and how much good they were doing for the world.

    Reply
  • 2. esperanza0721  |  August 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I have a diabetic alert service dog whose biggest detrimient is being “cute”. It is hard to get people to understand that she needs to remain focused on me when we are in public. In addition to her medic alert duties she assists me with my Multiple Sclerosis. In stores when I am using the walker she guides me to the sides of the aisles & away from the center where I am more likely to fall, she keeps me from walking off uncut curbs that I do not always see. I can’t count how many times I have been leaning on a counter paying my bill when someone tries to call her away from me. Many people actually get insulted if I say something like “if she goes to you I could fall” it is almost as though her “cuteness” takes precedent & people cannot fathom that she also has an important job to do.

    Reply

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