• My Experience

    I Reacted to the Covid Vaccine

    If you read my blog article on Wednesday, you know that I’m officially vaccinated. If not, you already probably guessed by the title that I am fully vaccinated. I had a lot of reservations about getting it due to my extensive history of allergic reactions. Ultimately, I knew that getting the vaccine was the best decision for me. I feel extremely lucky that I didn’t have anaphylaxis. That was by far my biggest fear. I made it through the fifteen minute screening processes. I left the facility feeling a bit invincible. Slowly, that feeling started to turn into panic. After about thirty minutes, my entire body started itching. I didn’t…

  • My Experience

    Having a Job and Chronic Illness

    If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I recently got hired at a company. I am a receptionist for a senior living facility. It’s a great fit for me. I absolutely love it so far and so does Crush. This is my fifth job but my first time having a job while being chronically ill. It’s not what I expected in a lot of ways but my employers have made the transition seamless. I knew that my work life would look different from the average person. Other than having Crush, I need various accommodations to ensure my health and safety. That ranges from simple things like eating at…

  • Helpful Hints

    Applying For Jobs With A Service Dog

    I want to talk a bit about the hiring process. I’ve officially been hired at a company and have completed all of my documentation. For those with a service dog or curious about how the process differs with a service dog, this article is for you. I went through the application/interview process with three companies. I feel like I have a decent sense of what to expect and how it differed from the average experience. So here’s what you should know. When I Disclose I like to tell companies during the interview process that I have a service dog. This is completely my personal preference. It does open the door…

  • Helpful Hints

    How Crush Helps With Surgery Recovery

    Crush has been incredibly helpful throughout all my surgeries. Although, most of the time after surgery he can’t perform his regular tasks, he can still help. So what does that look like? Here’s how my service dog helps me after surgery! Get Help This is a big one. Crush is trained to go and find someone in my house. I can simply say, “get help” and he’ll find someone and nudge them until they follow him back to me. This can be helpful if I’ve fallen or simply can’t get to my phone.  Retrieve Crush usually has retrieving tasks. Picking stuff up off the ground is incredibly strenuous for me…

  • My Experience

    I Got A Job

    I’m excited to announce that I am officially employed! Finding a job has been a taxing process that I wasn’t prepared for. I thought it would be as easy as it had been in the past. Boy was I wrong. After what felt like a long journey, I finally found a good fit. The best news of all is that they chose me knowing that Crush would be by my side. I am now a receptionist.  I chose to apply for reception jobs. They seemed like the most feasible option for me. Although this job strays from what my original plan was, I think we will all make a great…

  • Helpful Hints,  My Experience

    My Response to Service Dog Questions

    Every time I go out, I get questions about Crush. People ask entirely inappropriate questions. Luckily, the company that gave me Crush prepared me to answer these. I had no idea how I would respond initially. Even now, every question and person gets a variation of the same answer. Sometimes these questions leave me laughing, crying, or somewhere in between. So here are some of my pre-programmed responses to the question: Why do you have him/ What’s wrong with you? I have a disability I like this because it’s short and sweet. It also addresses how. Inappropriate it is to ask without shaming the person for asking. I like that…

  • My Experience

    Our Flight to Nowhere

    Recently Crush and I went on an expedition. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. In reality, we went through more training. This training was particularly exciting. It was preparation for being able to travel together. I think most people get overwhelmed when flying. I typically fly alone and have adapted to that well. Now I have Crush and we have to learn how to travel together. I am so grateful to Can Do Canines for the opportunity to go through this “class.” So how do you prepare to travel with a service dog? We went to the airport and did a dry run. Hence the “flight to nowhere.” Can Do…

  • My Experience

    An Update on My Day Without Crush

    A couple weeks ago, I talked about how I was going to go out without Crush. I had to get an MRI. I go to my appointments alone, I didn’t want to leave the technicians in charge of watching him while I was in the machine. The scans take at least an hour. This is already stressful for me because I’m very claustrophobic. Having to worry about Crush on top of that was not an option. So I went out alone. When I left, I felt extremely nervous. I had anticipation anxiety through the roof. When I finally got to Mayo Clinic, I took a deep breath and gave myself…

  • My Experience

    Going Out Without Crush

    Today is a scary day for me. There are a lot of factors that make it intimidating. By far the most bothersome is leaving Crush at home. Today I have my MRI. Now, I dislike MRI’s. I’m very claustrophobic. Tight spaces and I don’t get along. That would be enough to put me on edge and  make me anxious. On top of this, I have to leave Crush at home. Unfortunately, since my mom moved, I go to all of my appointments alone. I don’t mind this, I love that I have the ability to go to appointments alone. However, I haven’t been without a companion and completely on my…

  • 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…