If you follow me on social media you’ve probably noticed the world’s okay-est service dog in training in the background.
(He’s got a new vest by the way)
We adopted Ringo back in May. He’d been in the shelter for three months, which I still cannot believe because he’s a cutie patootie, having been picked up in Georgia as a stray.
He spent months in a paddock with other dogs playing whenever he wanted to, so that’s something we’re still working through because he still wants to play on his time.
When he first came home, he had severe separation anxiety. So, I started bringing him to work, until he could be left home. As most of you know, I have more than a fair share of anxiety disorders, and being out and about is often something that requires a lot of preparation for me. While Ringo was at work, I noticed that just having him around made me feel infinitely safer in a place I hadn’t ever really felt safe at all.
So I started training him for service.
A service dog must have tasks to perform. A service dog’s company is not a task, although it is often beneficial.
I started watching a lot of YouTube videos and following Instagram accounts to help me understand the differences between different types of assistance dogs and their many, many, tasks.
Eventually, I found Main Line Deputy Dogs, and now we train weekly with them and they’ve been amazingly helpful.
So helpful, in fact, that one of my works in progress is now about a young girl who needs a service dog (but just doesn’t know it yet). It’s nice to feel good enough on more days to get my writing done.
I can’t write at home. I’m distracted by everything. So losing the ability to go out, because I couldn’t do it alone, really cut into my writing and even my illustrating. Now, thanks to Ringo, who is still training, I find I can go out again and get my work done.
So I’ll be blogging about our journey together. And how he’s helping me and how I’m helping him and, of course, there will be pictures of his adorable face. Like this one: in his new vest.