My Experience

A Year of Crush

This year has been a complete whirlwind. Almost exactly a year ago, I found out that I was matched with my service dog. That day was filled with so many emotions. Above all else, I was excited. That excitement came with fear and fear came with grief. Last year, my chronic illness had completely overtaken my life. I had withdrawn from my Fall semester. I had been hospitalized several times in one year, including a couple trips to the ICU. I had lost a lot of hope. Then came Crush. 

I felt very adamant that a service dog would be right for my life. After doing extensive research and applying to the Can Do Canines mobility assistance program, I was on my way. I can’t explain in words how happy I am that I advocated for getting a service dog. Crush has completely changed my life. 

He’s seen me through five surgeries, soon to be six. He’s been with me through only one hospital stay/ICU stays. That trip was due to an alert he provided which ultimately saved my life. He’s been by my side for almost an entire year. I can’t believe it’s been a year and at the same time, it feels like we’ve never been apart. 

I remember the first day I met him. We were just supposed to be trying a harness. They brought out Crush “a random dog” and I fell instantly in love. He was so gentle, so kind, so comfortable. We moved together as a team and instinctively he knew what to do. It was a couple weeks later, on Thanksgiving 2019 that I got an email I had been matched. I cried from pure happiness when I got that message. Hope was suddenly restored to my being. There was no timeline given when I would be matched with a dog, so it was quite the shock. 

The next week, it was time to meet my dog for the first time. I sat there filling out paperwork for what felt like a lifetime. Finally, they told me that Crush was my dog. A wave of relief hit me. I already knew I loved him. He shared my excitement, not wanting to settle down the first time we met. Pretty soon, we were practicing our teamwork in public. It was effortless. Everything with Crush is effortless. 

When he moved home my heart was full. Suddenly, he really felt like mine. The more time we spent together, the more comfortable we were. Fast forward a year and here we are. He’s my running partner and my best friend. He’s the love of my life. He’s saved my life once and continues to do so. I can’t imagine life without him. Most of my progress, I owe to Crush. He’s the reason I can be indepent. The reason I get to be more carefree. I can’t thank Can Do Canines enough. Crush has given me my life back.

I hope you’re having an amazing day. I hope that your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.

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