There was a dog in my Team Training class named “Freedom” – when I worked with her in the day leading up to Match Day, I couldn’t help but sing to myself…
You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me
Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free
Oh freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom), freedom, yeah freedom
Freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom), freedom, ooh freedom
She was placed with a man who has Huntington’s Disease. What I think is unique about service dogs is that they provide freedom in so many different ways, depending on what their handler needs.
For me and a lot of the people I know, our service dogs allow us to experience freedom that is sometimes difficult – to travel, to work, to go places, without worrying about how our disabilities would make things more difficult. In a way it seems contradictory, that a service dog – a big flashing (no, not literally) sign saying “Hi! I’m disabled!” – gives freedom from some of the awkwardness associated with having a physical disability, but I’ve found that it does. People don’t give me nasty looks when I walk too slow across the street, or trip over my own feet, or drop everything I’m holding. Freedom from trying to make it all work in the able-bodied world.
My dog gives me the freedom to explore, in all senses of the word.
(This is a post for the #ADBC: Assistance Dog Blog Carnival)