|Tansy is my third service dog trained through CCI. We left our two week team training class ( where we learn the 40+ commands the dog already knows, are matched with the best dog for us, learn canine learning theory, canine health, the ADA and much more ) joined at the heart.
It took me awhile to apply for a successor dog after losing my previous SD, Klintworth, to kidney cancer. He had been at my side for ten years, then retired for two.In addition to helping me dress, undress, helping with laundry, picking up the house, go shopping, picking up the bags that I drop, opening and closing doors and drawers, and even helping me towel off after I shower, Tansy gives me independence with dignity. She also gives me freedom, inspires me to do more, and live life instead of life living me!I am usually in a wheelchair ( to date I’ve had 44 major surgeries and all but 5 vertebrae in my spine are fused ) and Tansy’s help is a life changer!
She also alerts when I need help, as that is the only time you will hear her bark. I cannot tell you how many times that bark has saved me in the relatively short time we’ve been together.Service dogs have an amazing impact on the family of their handler as well. My husband and son are no longer worried about me going out on my own or being home alone. Klintworth saved so much time, pain, and frustration for me, we went to college together, earned a 4.0 and were voted president of PTK, the honor society for two year colleges.
Service dogs don’t just help us—they change our lives in beautiful ways.
It is my hope the ADA will tighten the laws on service dogs, who trains them, and for what tasks. I also hope more steps can somehow be taken to stop service dog fraud as well as emotional support animals going where they have no legal right to be—Tansy and I have already been attacked by an ESA in a store and by a grown German Shepherd who, despite having on a “service dog” vest bought online, continued to bark and lunge at my dog to the point we left the store early out of fear he might get get loose.
My life has been forever changed because someone had the heart to “raise a puppy and change a life”…in my case, they gave me my life back.