I have a great service dog named Allie Rice. Here’s some stuff that we want to share .
- Patience . She may need to potty at 07:30 but me an struggle so so not outside until 09:00. She doesn’t bark at me or pull me. She may “ask” a few times (by go to door) or check with me if needs help (she comes up to see if need her help stand up), but she not impatient. She understands I’m doing my best y we will get there. And if she don’t come at first when me call (with a noise, not say her name) me will wait a few seconds and try again or go by her side if important.
- Keep trying. Sometimes I have meltdowns and may self harm, she will keep coming up to distract and calm me until it works. Sometimes I can’t get up and for almost a hour she will keep help me stand. Sometimes she can’t ignore the rabbit and me will keep call her to keep on track.
- It’s the little things. She is so happy to go outside and I love it. I’m so excited to see her smile and she do it when me needs it most or just because. I give her special treats because that all it takes to make her day better. And she will hug me or lick mine hand for the same.
- It’s awesome sauce to be yourself. She’s a dog, she likes to chase squirrels. And I let her because it makes her happy. I’m me and I like to swing and she will be sit happy while me swing. And I “stim” when I walk and she is still happy and not trying to stop me because it looks funny. She is happy I’m happy and that’s enough for us. *Oh she not chase them when on leash. *
- Pay attention. I can’t read her mind, and I don’t think she can read mine. But we are both good at knowing what the other needs. We pay attention. She can tell I need to slow down because she hears my heart rate, and she can tell when somethings is wrong with me even upset because I must do something different. And I can tell if she needs potty by her go to door and by thinking of the time (we try keep routine). And if she bark because a stranger or to get mine attention (to calm down). And she can tell if it’s ok to ask for all the belly rubs or if should leave me alone.
- Schedule is awesome sauce. She knows she will eat and it’s yummy , and when it’s time to go outside. Which helps her know if me needs help (like if I’m not up yet). I know when it’s time to calm down for bed because we follow a routine.
- Unconditional love. It’s not easy on us. We are about 2 feet away 24/7. Sometimes she really wants to run and me just can’t deal with the outside. Sometimes I can’t understand why she wants to go a certain way. But we don’t get mad, we still find other things to make us both smile.
- Respect. Sometimes I let her lead where we walk even if I don’t want to, and sometimes she has to follow me. It’s not her or my fault that’s she’s a dog and I’m “disabled”. We don’t always understand each other. But we work together the best we can and always look for a way to make the other smile. We respect that we both have needs and feeling even if can’t understand. I don’t understand why she needs to roll in dirt and she don’t understand why I need to rock or shout or bang mine hands but we don’t care because we can respect we are different.
- Forgive. Sometimes she scratches me or I step on her. But we don’t get upset. We still hug and kiss the same.