My assistance dog

Posted by Clicksy | Posted in My blog | Posted on 17-12-2011

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Those of us that don’t have kids often talk about our pets as our children.  Here’s a picture of our dog Sam a couple of years ago:

We always had a bent on shelter dogs.  But when my father-in-law was ill, I made him a promise that when he got better, we’d get him a puppy.  I had no idea what we were getting into!

That’s not to say that Sam wasn’t a great puppy.  We chose a lab because they’re very active, and in turn would keep us active.  Many people think their labs are ‘bad’.  But usually, they’re just bored.  They need engagement, attention, and most importantly, exercise.  EVERY DAY!  I could go off on a rant here, but I’ll save it for another day.

We spent a lot of time training Sam.  I always wanted a dog that would fetch, so we studied up and taught him that.  He has a pretty big vocabulary.  My husband and I have about 7 phrases to describe the word ‘frisbee’.  Sam knows six of them… we’re gonna have to think of a new one real soon.  We also taught him things like ‘give it’, and ‘up’.  I thought we were pretty clever.  At the time, my father-in-law’s legs weren’t doing so good.  I thought it would be great if Sam could play and interact with him if he ended up being unable to walk.  But now he gets around better than I do…

Right now I’m in a rheumatoid arthritis flare.  Sam plays a little ball in the house and he’s really good about putting it in my hand or on my lap, so I don’t have to bend down to pick it up.  Beyond simplifying our interactions, I never really thought much about how Sam could be helpful.  Last night, he showed me how it was.

We were laying in bed just about to doze off into sleep.  I grabbed the remote and my clumsy fingers somehow managed to fling it down under the bed.  Sam was sleeping and woke up, hearing the clatter of the falling remote.  He looked around to see what was going on.. my husband said, “Bring it, Sam!”  Sure enough, Sam got up, gently picked up the remote, and slid it right next to my husband’s hand.

I think Sam was just a little confused as to why all of a sudden my husband and I were laughing and loudly praising him, he was still a little groggy.

What a good dog.

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