I have always been what I consider a strong person. I don’t depend on anyone to do anything for me (my husband of 22 years will confirm this if asked). After the loss of Big Bubby, my emotional and physical exhaustion has been a great burden for me to bear since I don’t depend on anyone. I don’t like asking for help at all.
I have always been able to go out in big crowds, go by myself to stores, be alone in a store while my kids or husband are off doing what they need to do. Now, after Big Bubby, I no longer can be in large crowds without having anxiety attacks. I can’t go places by myself anymore and rarely do I go grocery shopping with my husband like I used to do.
Someone mentioned to me that there was a certification for animals called Emotional Support Dogs (in my case). There is no training necessary prior to receiving certification. You must have a physician write a letter on his letterhead stating that you need the dog to actively participate in life. When I discussed it with my physician, he was fully supportive of me getting one. He felt that having the dog may also help take my mind off of continuously thinking about what has happened.
So, the search began. We had already agreed that a Lab was what we wanted because of how smart they are. Queen Bee put us in touch with her breeder, who eventually got us to an excellent breeder out of Texas who she worked with a lot. We were looking for a puppy because we wanted to be the ones to train her and raise her as a therapy dog.
Boy, it has been years since we have had a lab pup. She was bred for hunting so she is hyper anyway, but this pup is hyper on steroids. I wouldn’t change her for the world though. She has definitely taken my mind off of the horribleness of my life right now. She is a 24/7 infant that needs care all day long. That’s where my wonderful husband has come in for the last couple of months since he isn’t/wasn’t working, he has been able to be with her to help train her.
We know how to sit, down, roll over, play fetch, play hide and go seek, loves plastic bottles, and already picks up on when I am having a rough time. I have picked up adult coloring books as something before Krissie to give me something to focus on. Now when I try to color, she picks up I am having a bad time and will come sit with me. Actually tries to help color. So not much coloring gets done while she is awake.
We have put her through puppy kindergarten and she graduated a couple of weeks ago from that. We are going on to the next level where when she graduates from that she will be tested for the Canine Good Citizenship certification.
We already have the documentation for the Emotional Support side and she could travel places with us we just want to get her a little more behaved first before taking her out into public areas where people might be afraid of dogs. She is still all puppy and likes to jump on people (we are working on “all four on the floor”). We are also working on other items like things that scare her, different types of people, etc. It has been a good experience so far and she seems to be a quick learner with treats in your hand….lol
She will never replace my sweet baby Big Bubby, but she will help me live my life a little easier knowing she is here for me at any time I need her.