On Nov 11, the Tuesday following the election, I will be presenting information about service dogs to the Lawrenceville City Council. I’m excited and pleased to be able to do this, but there is a bit of trepidation in there, too. I am one of those people who really enjoy talking to groups – this is not something that frightens me, and I seldom to never have “stage fright.” So that’s not the basis of my trepidation. I’m just concerned that I may not do a “good enough” job. For this one evening in particular, Emmy and I are the advocates for service dogs before the public. There may be journalists there from the local newspaper, and if I make it interesting enough, perhaps it will be picked up by a newswire and have wider publication.
So – what do I want to say? I want to be sure to tell them how important service dogs can be for their partners – like me! I want to show-and-tell some of the more important things she does for me: retrieving my cane, my keys, and my cellphone, (and the portable phone in the house). The cane is critically important, and I want to emphasize that. The fact that she is helping to keep me OUT of a wheelchair is important. Then I want to be sure they understand that the Federal ADA law and the associated rules and regulations specify that assistance dogs can go ANYWHERE with their partners – including restaurants, groceries, clinics, medical offices, hospitals – EVERYWHERE. If I am hospitalized, Emmy will stay with me, and my husband or children will take her out to “do business,” and will help me feed her. But she needs me as much as I need her – we must stay together. I want them to understand that no matter how expensive or inexpensive a service dog is, it is less expensive than 24/7 assistants – which is what it would take to replace most mobility service dogs in the lives of their partners!
If you, gentle readers, think of other things I should say or do, please comment and let me know! I’m hoping to get it all said and shown in less than 20 minutes (YIKES!). But any suggestions of things to include are gratefully (and hopefully **graciously**) accepted!
Thanks to all who prayed and sent “good” thoughts about Aunt D and Uncle O. Aunt D is now in a rehab facility, and as soon as she can walk safely with a walker, will be going home. I’ve already been to visit her with Emmy (while she was in the hospital) and will be going to see her in the rehab place this week. With Emmy, of course! Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. The whole family needs her “back” the way she was. Or as close to that as possible.
Emmy doesn’t like “hard” things in her mouth, and the fuzz of tennis balls bothers her, too. She was given this soft, cloth frisbee by one of her puppysitters as a graduation gift. She LOVES it! And I like it too – I can play frisbee with her in the hall and she gets some exercise – not enough, but at least SOME!
We are going to get a couple of those Kong hard rubber balls that are the size of tennis balls and see if she will retrieve them more happily. She certainly likes her larger Kong toy!