Annabelle & 'Dougal'
Its about two and a half weeks since we passed our Public Access Test and what an amazing time its been! Its hard work but even now after such a short time we are getting there. Already 'Dougal' helps me get undressed, carries things around the house, picks up everything from the floor, opens and closes the fridge, freezer, pantry, drawers and even the back door. He is learning to get the phone and bring me my walker, packs the bag when were going out, puts it by the back door and gets the pillow from my bed to go with us.
Hes been introduced to sailing and in the middle of having some dog time at the beach even stopped to bring me my pillow when I needed it! All the time his tail wags from side to side enthusiastically. He is always ready to help and do more. He knows to be gentle with me, he knows he has to approach me and give me things on my right side.
Yesterday at sailing 'Dougal' showed just how far he would go for me. For the first time he was in the support boat with the coach. After about 20 minutes they came over near me and were motoring along about 25 metres away. I looked over once or twice and 'Dougal' seemed fine, taking it all in his stride, when he decided I needed help. He took a long glance at me, got up on the front of the boat and jumped into the water. Once he surfaced he began paddling furiously towards me. I couldnt believe it. I turned my boat around to get alongside him he was so intent on getting to me. Finally a very wet, bedraggled 35 kg dog was back on the support boat! It wasnt until 'Dougal' and I were home both stretched out in front of the fire that the enormity of what he had done, and how strong the bond between us must be already, hit me and the tears flowed and flowed and flowed.
Every day is a new and exciting one. Life has become easier already because now its not just me struggling. I have a beautiful partnership, an amazing friend who adores me as much as I adore him, who will do anything for me, who seems to know he is here to help lighten the load. Its been a very long wait but its worth it for a match made in heaven!
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