A Surprise Assist

So without a decent wheelchair...

I fell and fell, and fell. I ripped my rotator cuffs. I got tendinitis in my elbow and shoulder. I fell so hard I chipped teeth. I have bone spurs where ever they could form. I sprained my ankle, fractured my foot, and destroyed all the tendons that held my foot together.  I finally bought a cell phone because I fell on a path by my condo and waited two hours for help to pass. And then I became agoraphobic because I was scared to cross the threshold, afraid I hurt myself with my inabilities. I'd throw up just looking out the open front door.

After staying in my condo for four months, my dear friend and veterinarian, Nadine, started dropping off her pup, Ami, for "Doggie Day Care" while she went to teach skiing. She knew I loved that dawg so much that I scoot down the stairs on my butt, clutch my cane with its winter crampon on the tip, and take him for a walk. Nadine would punch the code and let Ami in, he'd slip onto the bed (not allowed at home) and sleep while I could, and wait until my medications kicked in enough for me to dare going outside.

And I discovered my surprise assistance dog. Ami would give just enough tension on the leash on my left that when I'd start to fall to the right, Ami would anchor me. No fall. No cane injuries. My ten minute walk became longer, until by the end of ski season I was up to a half hour with Ami & my cane. I soon realized my cane wasn't required.

90% of possible falls with my cane ended up in falls with injuries. 90% of possible falls with Ami were not falls at all.

Obviously it was time to find myself a dawg that was mine alone. Poor Nadine was already being asked why she was walking my dog all the time!

So I started to apply to assistance dog organizations that I could find on the Internet, and I couldn't qualify! I was too ABLED. I would be wait listed 5-7 years, maybe. Or I could buy a trained dog for $15,000! Ami loved me like the adoring aunt I was, but Ami was Nadine's dog wholeheartedly.

I had to find a dog to train. My outdated collection of dog training books grew as did the bookmarks on my computer. I was on the hunt for a dog worthy of wearing the ADA service cape.

The Dawg.