This is a sweet story of a young lady named Chloé and her great pooch named Ted. Chloé has an uncommon heart condition called orthostatic postural tachycardia disorder, just as Ehlers-Danlos, which affects her joints. She has been combating diseases since she was 13 years of age. Fortunately, she has the best assistant: Ted thoroughly takes care of Chloé.
Chloé took Ted in when he was 5 months old and taught him herself. From the beginning, he feared her wheelchair. Presently, he knows a lot of orders that help Chloé carry on with her regular daily existence. The assignments incorporate getting her shoes, giving her the things she needs, or in any event, removing her socks.
Before long, Chloé chose to engage with Dog Assistance In Disability (Dog AID), a non-benefit association that helps individuals with physical handicaps to prepare their own pets to become qualified help hounds.
“Me and my main man. Super cheesy but there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting on a field with him and watching the sun dip below the horizon. This field, in particular, is a haven for birds, there’s so many! It’s lovely listening and watching them. Ted, meanwhile, loves it because it backs onto a school and so there’s a large number of tennis balls to hunt out that have been thrown over.
His current record is seven balls found in one evening, I’m sure he’ll beat it soon enough. We don’t play fetch with balls if we can avoid it, it’s not particularly good for their joints, instead, I prefer to hide them in the grass so he can hunt for them. He loves it!”
“A year ago yesterday I went into a hospital appointment and was told I would be admitted for tube feeding. The first thing I said was ‘Ted will be coming with me, that’s ok, right?’ I was in such shock, but even still, the very first thing on my mind was Ted. I couldn’t really comprehend what I was being told, but I knew that with Ted by my side, I could handle anything.
My consultant said to expect to be in for a few weeks, 12 weeks later we were finally discharged. I firmly believe that having Ted by my side changed my entire mindset, I wasn’t able to wallow in misery, it was time to take Ted out. I still can’t commend the hospital enough for how amazing they were regarding Ted. But also, all of you.
The support we received over those 12 weeks was phenomenal and truly helped so much. What could have been something absolutely awful was made bearable with the best support system I could have asked for. Without Ted, and by default everyone here, I don’t know how I’d have done it.”
You may feel that it’s unfair to keep a dog in a hospital, but there are many surprising benefits. The first being Ted is a working dog, he loves his job. Ted would hate being at home, even with dog walkers he would far prefer to be with me working.
Another benefit is with regards to nurses, the ward I’m on is sadly quite short-staffed and help can take a while. Ted’s help means I often have nurses coming in asking if I’m ok, that I’m quite quiet, don’t I need anything? Nope! With Ted’s help, I am able to be almost entirely independent.
This also relieves my mum from some of her worries about leaving me. Furthermore when in hospital, it can be hard to maintain motivation and an upbeat attitude, but when you have to take care of a dog, it provides a focus, a distraction and a way to break the day up. Not to mention a positive discussion point with any staff! I firmly believe there are countless benefits animals provide to patients.”
“4 years ago today we went into our final assessment with Dog A.I.D. (Assistance In Disability) and passed, making Ted a fully qualified Assistance Dog. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the following 4 years.
It’s been the most fantastic whirlwind, I’m incredibly excited to see what the next 4 bring. I hope I’ve made you even a quarter of how happy you’ve made me, buddy.”