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WOOF!

                                                  HAYLIEGH MUFFINS

 

HAYLIEGH.  JUST SAYING HER NAME MAKES ME SMILE AND EVERYONE SHE MEETS SMILES AT HER TOO. SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL BLACK AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL WITH SOULFUL BROWN EYES. SHE STARTED WORKING FOR ME BY THE GRACE OF GOD WHEN SHE WAS MY PET, JUST A PUPPY. ON ONE SPECIAL NIGHT WHILE I WAS SLEEPING SHE WOKE ME UP TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.  “GET UP, GET UP!” I KEPT SAYING TO MYSELF AS I STRUGGLED TO WAKE MYSELF UP.  THE MIGRAINE THAT WAS HITTING IN MY SLEEP MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR ME TO WAKE UP. FOR HOURS, I COULD HEAR MYSELF SAYING “GET UP. GET HELP,” SO I WRESTLED IN MY SLEEP IN SEVERE PAIN. SUDDENLY I FELT THIS PAW ON MY CHEST; IT WAS HAYLIEGH. SHE WAS PAWING AT ME TO WAKE UP.  HOW DID SHE KNOW TO WAKE ME UP? I ALSO HAD AN ANEURYSM IN THE BRAIN, SO IT WAS FRIGHTENING WHEN HEADACHES WOULD OCCUR.

I WAS CURIOUS ABOUT HAVING HER BE MY SERVICE DOG AND YOU KNOW THE SAYING, “IF YOU KNOCK ON A DOOR GOD WILL OPEN ONE.” WELL, HE DID. I KNOCKED AND GOD ANSWERED, SO I JUMPED ON IT. I FOUND OUT THAT BECAUSE I AM A 100% DISABLED, I COULD HAVE A SERVICE DOG FOR BOTH EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL SUPPORT.  THERE HAVE BEEN MANY DAYS WHEN LIFE IS MORE THAN I COULD HANDLE AND I THANK GOD FOR MY HAYLIEGH MUFFINS.  BECAUSE SHE IS AN UNUSUAL BREED OF DOG TO BE USED AS A SERVICE DOG, IT RAISES CURIOSITY BOTH NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE DUE TO THE WAY I LOOK AND TO THE USE OF HAYLIEGH. THERE IS A NAIVETÉ ABOUT SERVICE DOGS AND THE DISABLED IN THE PUBLIC.

DUE TO THE HOSTILE COMMENTS I RECEIVED JUST FROM BEING ME AND DISABLED, I KNEW THAT HAVING A COCKER SPANIEL SERVICE DOG WOULD ADD EVEN A BIGGER CONTROVERSY BECAUSE WE DON’T FIT THE STEREO TYPICAL PATIENT AND GOLDEN RETRIEVER SERVICE DOG.  AFTER INQUIRING ABOUT MAKING A DOG YOUR SERVICE DOG, I ENDED UP AT CAPE-ABLE-CANINES. THE OWNER, ALIETA, WAS SPECIALIZED IN THE FIELD OF SERVICE DOGS AND TRAINING A DOG TO BE WITH YOU AND TO WORK WITH YOU. I ENJOYED THE CLASSES AND AT THE END OF EVERY CLASS SHE HAD A GAME. ONE IN PARTICULAR THAT I REMEMBER IS THE WET T-SHIRT CONTEST. A GROUP OF US HAD TO RUN TO A BUCKET OF WATER, SOAK A T-SHIRT IN THE WATER, PUT IT ON OUR DOG AND RUN BACK.  THE GROUP WHO GOT ALL THEIR DOGS IN WET T-SHIRTS FIRST WON. WE WON!

THE FIRST TWO CLASSES WERE BOTH HER OBEDIENT CLASS AND THE SERVICE DOG EDICT CLASS. WE WERE TAUGHT HOW TO WALK WITH OUR DOG AND “LEAVE IT ALONE” WHICH REALLY CAME IN HANDY WHILE OUT IN PUBLIC. THE “LEAVE IT ALONE” COMMAND CAN BE USED FOR JUST ABOUT ANY DISCIPLINE THAT COMES UP. FOR EXAMPLE IF WE SEE SOMETHING ON THE GROUND AND IT ISN’T OKAY TO GO TO WE USE THE COMMAND. IF SHE IS SNIFFING WHERE SHE SHOULDN’T WE CAN SAY “LEAVE IT ALONE.” BOY THE COMMAND WORKS GREAT. I HAVE EVEN HEARD MY FRIENDS USE IT ON THEIR TODDLER KIDS.

DURING THE LAST CLASS, WE ALL MET AT THE MALL AND FOLLOWED ALIETA’S DOG, SUMMER, WHO WAS A RETIRED GOLDEN RETRIEVER SERVICE DOG.  WE WERE SHOWN THE PROPER PLACE TO BE WHILE IN A RESTAURANT OR AT A REGISTER, AND WALKING THROUGHOUT THE MALL.  SHE BROUGHT DOGGIE PASTRIES WHICH LOOKED REALLY GOOD, SO I ATE THE FROSTING AND HAYLEIGH GOT THE CAKE.  I FIGURED I SHARE SOME OF MY FOOD WITH HER AND SHE CAN SHARE HER FOOD WITH ME.   WE FINISHED WITH OUR CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION.

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