service dogs

Leroy, the Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle Mix), (part 2)

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“Once I felt sure that they were good breeders, I sent them an email and she told us that she would let us know when she had a puppy that would meet our needs.

We were looking for a specific size and temperament.

We decided that we wanted to train our future dog to be a therapy dog.

We want to volunteer with kids and wanted the right dog for the job.”

Penny, the Dachshund Mix From Rescue Dogs Rock (part 5, she said)

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“No matter what kind of day we are having, at the end of the day, our pack will go to sleep in our den.

We originally thought we would have a no dog on the furniture policy, but Penny obliterated that quickly.

Now we all snuggle together on the bed.

Her favorite spot is between our faces on the bed.

I like to say, she is the statement, we are the parentheses.

We are hoping to get her in the Good Dog Foundation.

They train dogs and handlers to go into hospitals and other care facilities to bring companionship and joy to people having a hard time.

Penny is great with kids, so we would like to focus on having her become a service dog for pediatrics.”

Percy & Watson, the standard poodles that ease the stress of every day life (part 4)

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“I am a teacher and I work with some kids that have emotional difficulties.

I see how helpful the dogs are in stressful situations and how stabilizing and reassuring they can be.

Some of the kids have service dogs, which provide a venue for affection and the opportunity to care for another being without judgement or conditions.

I have found that my dogs play a similar tole in my life.

For me, what’s most joyous is accepting responsibility for them.

They give me the chance to give them the care and love they innately deserve.

That means consistency and being a presence in their life on a daily basis.

They give the chance to be a better person.”

Princess, the Pit Bull, Labrador Retriever therapy dog (part 2)

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“I got Princess and started training her for my mother.

In December of 2013, after having Princess only four days, my mother passed away.

I kept Princess and moved back east in April or May of 2014.

It was really hard at first when I moved to NYC.

My landlord said I couldn’t keep her, so I had to get a medical note saying that she had become my service dog to deal with the trauma from my mother’s passing.

We were separated for two years during this process.”

Zoe, the rescue from down the block

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“My wife and I  lived on the same block as a woman who had Zoe and another dog.  Zoe was 8 months old and the other dog was 10 years old.

We saw the dogs daily and we befriended their owner.

She was a nurse in her early 20’s who had rescued her puppy with her boyfriend, on a lark when she saw a North Shore Animal League mobile adoption vehicle.

She broke up with her boyfriend, joined nurses without borders and moved out of the city.

About a month after she left the city, she had one of her friends leave a letter with our doorman asking us to call her about her puppy, Zoe.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 4)

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“Eventually I took Jean Luc to daycare and printed the photos they posted on Facebook.

I put those photographs on my mother’s  mirror.

With Jean Luc, there was always something to talk about with her.

A few days before she died he wouldn’t go on her bed.  He wouldn’t even go in her room.

He was with her as long as she was consciously aware.

After she died and I brought him back to her house he helped me cope.

Snuggling and having Jean Luc around helps fill the hole.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 3)

“I feel that Jean Luc extended my mother’s life.

When she became bed ridden he sat with her on her bed for hours.

He was this little adorable thing who tried to steal her food, which always entertained her.

She always wanted to know where he was.

He gave her something to think about– wondering where he was and all of his antics.

When I first got Jean Luc, my boss loved him.

He would conduct his business meeting holding Jean Luc like a baby, with his head on his shoulder.

My mother loved those types of stories.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 2)

“I wanted to keep the whole thing a secret, until I appeared at my mother’s house with the dog, but I couldn’t keep the secret.

When my brother and I went to pick the dog out, and my mother asked where we were going, I spilled the beans.

My mother was so excited.

Jean Luc was the runt of the litter, so he was the smallest and he was also the cuddliest.

My brother thought it was idiotic to get a dog while I was going back and forth to mother’s, but I knew that it was going to make her so happy to have the puppy around.

My mother just loved him.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 1)

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“Someone I worked with had a French Bulldog that came to the office every day.

That dog and I were good friends, and I realized when I was ready to get a dog, I was going to get a French Bulldog.

My mother got diagnosed with lung cancer and she loved dogs.

Very soon after the diagnosis I was coming back to the city via the Long Island Railroad and there was a guy on the platform with a 14 month old Frenchie.

On the train ride back to NYC I talked to this guy and his dog sat with me.  I asked him where he got his dog and  decided I should call his breeder to see if there were any puppies.

When I found out that there were puppies available I decided it would make my mother really happy, if, when I came to visit I had a puppy or a dog.

I said, ok, I want a dog.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 4)

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“I filed for separation from my husband a few months after Nutmeg died.

I realized that both Nutmeg and Diego were my guardian angels.

Throughout the stress of divorce and daily life, my dogs have been a grounding force.

They’ve been angelic.

They have wisdom.

Having dogs has centered my focus.

No matter what I am going through, I always have a reason to get up, walk, and feed Diego.

I always have a grounding responsibility that is a privilege.”