While Thanksgiving is another reason to get your family together and express your gratitude for their love and support, it is also the perfect time to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have the companionship of man’s best friend – our beloved pooches. Always there for us on good days and bad, they also deserve our appreciation and gifts. For many of us, however, our dogs are more than just best friends, they are our daily companions and assistants without whom our lives would not be the same. In today’s post we would like to bring attention to our service dogs. With Thanksgiving approaching we are featuring three stories of the fur-parents who shared their gratitude towards their service dogs with the whole world.
Daniel and Nellie
Several months ago Daniel, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type 2 restricting him to a wheelchair, got a new lady in his life – a beautiful Labrador called Nellie. Since then, his life took a new spin: “Nellie makes being home alone a lot less daunting, and helps me with picking up the things I drop, as well as being a great companion – we have really bonded and connected and I couldn’t imagine life without her now,” says Daniel of his loyal companion. Every morning when Daniel wakes up he can rely on Nellie to be there for him, to take him outside for a walk with her, and set up a good mood for the whole day.
Daniel and Nellie are regular visitors at the local dog beach where Nellie gets a lot of pats, and her proud owner a lot of interaction with others. He says that having Nellie by his side has given him independence and confidence, and definitely increased his mobility. Being a keen sportsman Daniel regularly travels to state and national Boccia championships and is now looking forward to going overseas to compete on an international level. Although Nellie is not joining him on the trip, he knows that she will be cheering for him from home.
Alida and Mr Gibbs
A sick little girl is being kept alive thanks to her best friend – a dog who carries her oxygen tank on its back. Alida was diagnosed with neuroendocrine hyperplasia of infancy (NEHI) when she was just 8 months old, and although she is now able to breathe without the tube it is still very hard for her. For Alida’s parents it also meant that every walk in the park or just outside the house would be really difficult as the equipment is too heavy for little girl to carry. They also wanted to do something to help their daughter navigate life without a tube trailing her all the times – that’s how they learned about service dogs and later found help in shape of golden doodle named Mr Gibbs.
Now Alida and Mr Gibbs love nothing more than playing together with the dog acting like a real “life saver” for her. Trained to shepherd a three-year-old and carry a heavy tube of oxygen, Mr Gibbs follows her closely when she plays around and even uses the slide or rides her bike. Alida loves her four-legged companion and says: “He’s my best dog.”
Juno and Lucas
The story of Lucas and his dog is one of the most touching stories about the amazing relationship between humans and our animal best friends. When Lucas was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a condition that impedes the body’s ability to process enzymes, it meant that throughout his life he will be slowly losing the ability to speak and function until reaching vegetative state. His parents were devastated as they knew the average life expectancy for a person with this condition is 15 years. “The most catastrophic thing parents hear when they learn their child has this disease is that there’s no cure or treatment available” says Chester, Lucas’s father.
Regardless of the disease, Chester wanted his son to enjoy his life to the fullest so he started looking into getting him a service dog, but Lucas was not the best candidate for it. When Chester considered adoption, that was when he met Juno – a beautiful, well-tempered dog who was only a day away from being euthanized. As he worked with Belgian Malinois before, Chester was familiar with the training process of that breed. He put a lot of hard work in Juno’s training, and now not only does she not leave Lucas’s side but also helps with his illness. ”She has the ability to pick up on his neurological changes. Now she alerts us when Lucas is about to have a seizure or if his oxygen levels drop really low. She has saved him several times.” says Chester with gratitude in his voice.
Our service dogs are irreplaceable companions as we create a special bond with them, a bond one cannot describe until experiencing it. We want to say a big Thank you to all the service dogs in the world that make our everyday life brighter!
Do you want to say thank you to your pooch for being your constant, loyal companion?
Surprise your dog with a November box from Pooch Perks and use code “GIVETHANKS” for 25% off at checkout!