Wendy & Sophie
A stroke left me with impaired balance and coordination, varying between having to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Walking wasdangerous … I had fallen many times, and I had the grace of a weeble trying to get up off the floor so, just for that alone, I was wide open to the idea of getting a service dog. There is a terribly long wait for pre-trained dogs, though, and no choice of breed, gender, or name … you just take what they give you.
With my friend being an instructor at Happy Tails, we discussed it and I decided that training my own dog was the way I wanted to go. So I got exactly what I wanted, a female Golden Retriever, and named her Sophie, and started from the very basics … puppy class, obedience, and then fifteen months of Happy Tails instruction.
I drop nearly everything I touch and Sophie picks it up. She braces to get me up off the floor, and allows me to walk safely and confidently. She goes with me almost everywhere, and I thank God for her every day