When the Service Dog Needed My Help
I planned for two years to get a dog. I wanted to make sure I was 100% sure of what I was taking on and that I could afford the necessary food, insurance, and vet visits. I also wanted him to become a service dog.
While I thought I had it all planned correctly for my perfect Yorkie to help me with my health issues, comfort me when I needed to rest, and bark for help when I needed it, nothing turned out as expected.
First, there was a tragedy that certainly couldn’t have been expected. Then, I found Teddy and brought him home last August. He was 11 weeks old and much more interested in jumping up and down my couches than my needs.
He wanted to play, and bite, and eat, and sleep. He was a newborn who counted on me.
This is where I really messed up. Here I was, with a long list of chronic illnesses, with a puppy that was dependent on me: not a service dog capable of helping with my needs.
Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with this ball of fur, and that love never waned. I can’t imagine life without him. He certainly got me through the isolation of the pandemic and gives me the push to get out of bed on days when I feel like I can’t do it.
I knew I needed help with the situation. I asked around for recommendations for a trainer who had experience with service dogs. Everyone agreed the namesake of Jodie Vee’s is the ultimate dog whisperer, but even she can’t turn a baby into a teen.
She wonderfully guided me through months of slow training for a growing puppy, and reinforced the training when he was at Jodie’s doggy daycare. This doggy daycare was his socialization and my respite, spent at doctor appointments or resting.
We finally got to the nine-month mark and the difference in Teddy was clear. He was listening to and following commands.
I had begun to work with him on bringing me things and he was recognizing when my breathing wasn’t right. I was excited that we had gotten through the worst of it, and he…