My Service Dog, Jade

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jade's Day In Court

Early this morning, I had a court hearing for personal reasons, and as always, my trusty co-pilot, Jade, accompanied me, and boy am I glad she did! It was one of the toughest days I've had so far, since I've become too disabled to work.  Jade was, as she always is, there for me.

I was about as nervous as I could be getting up and getting ready this morning to head off to court, which I have to admit, isn't an easy task in itself when you're disabled. Thankfully I have help...I have my boyfriend, who is the best man I've ever known, and my loyal 4-legged friend; both of them help me immensely.

After I got my first set of pills in me, and a little something to go down with them, I move about a bit easier, and strapped Jade into her service dog vest and collar, which lets her know it's time to get ready to work.  My nerves started to settle some just looking at her loving face looking at me, while I strapped her into her seatbelt in the back seat of the truck and slowly climbed into the passenger seat.  I thought about how court would go on the ride, and when I started to feel very nervous again, I'd look into the backseat, and see that face again.....deep breath...we can do this.

We got through it, and although I'd wished we would never have had to, we did, and today I realized that Jade helps me in so many other ways than just doing the physical things she does to help me.  Yes, she picks up everything I drop, she opens doors, she puts clothes in the dryer and pulls them out, she pulls the laundry basket into the laundry room,  she holds things for me, she carries bags into the house for me after shopping, she lets the cat in and out so I don't have to get up, she helps set the table for dinner, and she fetches the phone for me, but today I realized how much she helps me emotionally.

Sometimes, it's just about her being there with me, through the hard things, through the physical pain, and the emotional pain.  Just her being there, laying next to me, or looking at me with that silly smile, and wagging tail, with those pretty eyes of hers, that seem to say, "Smile, I'm here for you!" seems to keep me going from day to day.  But then there's that look of hers that I get every evening after dinner, that says, "Well, are we going to the park now or what?" and I know, I have to get out.  I have to get out, see the sun, see the park, see other people, and think about other things...or not think at all; it's unbelievable how much just getting out of the house, and going to the park helps with depression and stress. She makes me do that.

Today was difficult.  I sat in the courtroom, nervous, and wondering what would happen, but I could look down at my feet, under the table, and there's that face again, looking up at me, smiling, and making me feel like "yes, I can do it....and everything is going to be okay."  After it was over, and I was crying so much I couldn't stop, we left the courtroom, and I stopped right there in the hallway, squatted down slowly, and hugged Jade. She sat with me, just letting me, because she knew I needed to, then we shared a cup of water and regrouped.  I often wonder what I'd do without her, but today I realized it's for so many more reasons.

When I wake up in the morning, I find her right there, on the bed, laying next to me, after my boyfriend has left for work (or is sometimes getting ready for work).  I wake up and I pet her, and she rolls over for the belly rub.  She happily fetches my slippers and my cane, as if to say, "C'mon, let's get moving," and I do.

So, what I realized is that my service dog, is so much more than just my physical helper, and my partner.  She also helps me so much emotionally.  She's my therapy, and my friend.

Thank you, Jade, for always being there.

 Dogs just have a way of making it better.

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