Roadside Yoga
August 30, 2020
Lessons from the Dog *
May 1, 2021

Out of Service

The instructions on my service dog’s tags read DO NOT Separate Dog from Handler. The same words repeat on the rear window of my van, emphasizing that wherever I go, he goes. We’re a team. Even in an emergency, we both board the ambulance.

Yet, here I stand in the parking lot of the urgent care clinic watching a vet assistant lead him inside without me by his side. I feel half-dressed, only one pant leg on. I wish there were instructions sewn onto my COVID mask that read DO NOT Separate Handler from Service Dog. Even in a pandemic.

When a pet falls ill, it’s heartbreaking. They don’t complain. If only they could explain how they feel, where it hurts. So, we do what we can: fluff their beds, sit by their side stroking their fur, break the rules and hand-feed them slices of roasted chicken. We try to live up to the faith they have in us that we’ll take care of them.

When a service dog falls ill, it’s heart-wrenching. All the while I’ve been fluffing, stroking, hand-feeding, he’s still trying to take care of me. A month of blood work, urine samples, ultrasounds have only shown what isn’t wrong with him. Today, he’s at the clinic for a day-long test fest to determine what is.

To be continued . . .

1 Comment

  1. sally says:

    Please Get well Bryson.

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