My dog and I were united this past week after one year of training to help me manage my bipolar symptoms and anxiety. He is trained to wake me up if I sleep past 9 am by being an asshole and turning on the light switch. Not just one switch, but all! How’d they train him to do this? Food. He is on a set schedule for eating and if he isn’t fed by that time he knows that food will come if the lights are turned on. Prior to his training a questionnaire was given to myself, my doctor, and one person who knows me well and from that they determine the highest priorities. For me, getting out of bed when I am in my depressive state can be a losing battle. Hence, the training to getting me out of bed.
Atticus is also trained to bring me my medications in the mornings in a bag designated for him. There are countless other methods to him helping me but my favorite part is that he can sense when my anxiety is high and he responds in two ways. If we are in public, he becomes an asshole and tugs his lead obsessively in an effort to pull me and rolls over and doesn’t move. This is to give me an excuse to get me out of an anxious situation. He will not do this unless he has exhausted his first response to my anxiety, obsessively licking me in an effort to redirect my focus.
Thus far, things are going well with my new addition and I couldn’t be happier to have him. I haven’t been out in public since we left Tennessee because my back is just not right at the moment but when that time comes, I’ll write about that. At this point I feel as though I am limiting him. All we do is smuggle and I can’t say that I mind that one bit.
Despite my back pain today I am happy because Ace and I received a goodie box from a very kind soul. Here are the contents:
I got candy and a new letter and Ace was spoiled with jerky and tennis balls. He’s loved by many already. Just as every dog should be. Guess what else I got today?
If you haven’t had a piece of chocolate cake lately, what are you waiting for?
P.S. Don’t ask me how moist that piece of cake was as I really loathe that word. The cake was damp. The fucking cake was damp.