Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fred - My "Service Basset"

I went to a seminar yesterday for my work and saw the sweetest yellow lab laying on the floor next to one of the fellow educators in attendance.  So what did I do?  Knelt down, playfully rubbed her ears and proceeded to tell her what a pretty girl she was.  I felt a hush come over the room.  Turns're not supposed to pet these dogs. 


I apologized and the woman, who happened to not only be a fellow educator, but a service dog trainer, tried her best to show me kindness.  She said, "oh that's alright.  People don't understand the rules.  While she is working, she is not to be acknowledged."

As I sat there in the seminar, only able to pay approximately 3% attention to the instructor (don't worry, bosses...I totally got every bit of the material!  True story!) , I couldn't help but wonder...would I ever come to need a service dog?  On my hour-long drive home, I called my husband to tell him of my blunder and also of my What If Game thought.  His response?  "You already have one of those.  Fred!"

Fred.  The bane of my existence.  The most mischievous, conniving dog I've owned in all of my 39 years.  Could it be that my husband is correct in that he provides a service to me?  Let's take a walk through that together, shall we?

Baby Fred - so cute, so misleading

Service:  assisting me with eating
*since I have intermittent hand tremors, it works to his advantage

Service:  blocking me from potential stove injury
*the chairs are blocking him from the cabinet his dog food is in, as well as our pantry.  He opens doors.

Service:  taking care of a sick child
*what you don't see is the plate of toast on said child's tray table

Service:  caring for sick child #2
*no food involved - just sheer the expense of sick child

Service:  holding down "Christmas Snuggie"
*just so everyone understands, this was MY gift...which he stole

I attempt to take Christmas Snuggie from Fred...

...but he throws it to the floor, lays on it, and licks it
Christmas Snuggie is now "Freddy Snuggie"

Relaxing by the fire in the chiminea, which my husband made...for him.
*yes, he dismantled each of the patio chairs (except for the one he's laying on)

Service:  finding all of the painters tape in the house
*and subsequently chewing it up

Service:  making me feel as if naps are not only acceptable, but necessary:-)
*this is a service I can appreciate!

...enjoying a sip of my husband's coffee
*he'll need to be alert to deal with me all day

Service:  guarding the house and its occupants
*because no one messes with a dog who sits on the coffee table

Service:  assisting me with climbing the stairs
*False.  He is afraid of descending and will not unless someone stands at the bottom, reassuring him that it's okay.

Obviously, caring for me takes a toll

Yes, my husband is right.  Fred is my service dog.  Like when he rips the house apart and tosses shredded paper and sandwich bags all around the living room?  My husband says, "oh honey, he's just helping you to stay active."  When he wedges himself into my back while I sleep?  "Oh honey, he's just trying to keep you warm."  And when he gets a 5 gallon drink of water, walks over to me, opens his mouth, and allows the 2 gallons he didn't swallow to pour onto my feet?  "Oh honey, he's just trying to keep you cool.  You did look a bit overheated..."

Try as I may to convince my husband that this dog and I dislike one another...the old phrase, "a picture is worth 1,000 words" rings true. 


Nicole said...

So, you have a service dog after all!

Tina said...

Indeed I do! This morning, he helped himself to my toast. I must now go make another. Ugh...


Kelli said...

Love it! He really is one of the cutest dogs ever........

Tina said...

It's all part of his act, Kelli;-) I'll have to post more pics of him. My husband wanted me to create a facebook page of him. It's a mess...

Nancy said...

I love this post!!! My dachshunds are my "service dogs", especially when it comes to eating and naps. They like to assist me with both!

Nancy :)

Tina said...

Nancy, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I'm now following. Your title is wonderful, especially the part about "living with intention". Thank you for your comment and for reaching out! Now I have the blessing of reading your inspiring posts:-)