Last Saturday Crush and I graduated from our program! Although Crush has had the official title of service dog for sometime, this event marked a special occasion in our journey together. Getting Crush was such a journey. From when the idea sparked in my mind to meeting him for the first time was a process, to say the least. There is so much to know before you get a service dog but nothing can prepare you for the beautiful reality of it. I’ve been brought into a community of people that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is kind and loving.
I had the joy of meeting the people who raised Crush. They brought me photos and shared stories of their time with him. It was clear that he was spoiled with love and affection throughout his stay. Others who had him for a short time were excited to see him again. They talked of how intelligent he is, a fact I’ve come to discover on my own. One thing all these people had in common was the admiration they had for my dog. He is special. I know I’m biased but his abilities are nothing short of incredible.
Crush can sense so many minor changes occuring in my body or mind. He has a reaction to when I get stressed or when my heart rate spikes. He watches me intently and rarely wants to leave my side. Even minor tasks like opening drawers gets him excited. He aims to please. Crush can be so playful, his demeanor is often joyful and carefree. He’s allowed me the ability to relax alongside him. Together we are ready to take on the world.
I can’t imagine going back to life before Crush. For a short period of time at graduation, I was separated from Crush. The puppy raisers took him so they could eventually present him to me on stage. During that time I felt disoriented. A lot was going on and I was shaky from lack of food but it was alarming not to have Crush. It brought me back to the time before I had him. Feeling frazzled and unprepared, not knowing what was going to happen. I can’t explain how Crush makes such a difference but he does.
His eyes look up at me to ensure I’m okay. Any sign of trouble and he’s ready to help. It’s a feeling of comfort. If I can’t stand or function properly, there he is. He promptly follows directions in an effort to counteract my body’s malfunctions. It feels like magic. I’m so grateful to every individual who made him into the magnificent dog he is today. I’m grateful to Can Do Canines for gifting Crush to me. I’m grateful Crush and I will always have continuing support from the organization, as well as fellow graduates. I sleep easy knowing that Crush is by my side. We conquer each day together, side by side.