It’s About Access
September 5, 2014
An Open Letter to the Chambers of Commerce
October 20, 2014

Why a Service Dog?

A slide from a Service Dog advocacy presentation

A slide from a Service Dog advocacy presentation

Sir Thomas and I recently celebrated our two-year anniversary (Yay, us!). In my time with him, I’ve learned so much about the world of service dogs. The good (How much time do you have?), the bad (Can’t ignore that their life span often runs shorter than ours), and the ugly (My body tenses simply typing the words: Fake service dog teams).

My intention for this blog sparked from sharing the good. It has blossomed into a means to connect with a community of fellow service dog partners in good times and bad. It has grown to include educating and advocating in the face of the ugly.

In all that Thomas and I have encountered these past twenty-four months, I am – daily – still surprised. People surprise me with their comments – good, bad and ugly. One would think I’d be getting used to the range of remarks.

Most remarkably, though, Tommy continues to surprise me. One would think I’d be getting used the range of his quirks, antics, charm and how he wags and bows his head each time I strap on the harness that I hold onto while he steadies my step.

In that last slide of a presentation on living with disability and choosing life with a service dog, I quote from a poem on discovering love in loss. The line is from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, Kindness:

“. . . only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say … it is you I have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.”




  1. Marcia Aulebach says:

    I love what you write. I am coming up on my first year my service dog and I can really relate to what you say. Congrats on your two year hope we can meet some time to discuss out sweet pips and parkinsons. Congrats. Marcia and Maggie

  2. Kristen Cappucci says:

    I have learned so much from you since I have met you I almost want to cry as I read those lines from the poem….As I stare at the screen with black dots and haze in my right eye from a disease I have no control over my journey is just beginning because one day I saw
    you and Sir walk by me in Market Basket you make the best team!!! And know you have helped so
    many people make sure you
    celebrate together for what you two have achieved together…..I hope to learn from you two for years to come with love Kristen

  3. Carrie Pandis says:

    This is so beautifully touching! Please post this, or a link to it, on the SDP EPW Facebook page. There are so many people who would love it! We watch the SDP pups be born and grow, and we long to know what their lives are like as service dogs.

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