Posted 7/17/2011 1:16 PM (GMT -8)
Sorry I'm late, but here goes: BUBBLES is my 157-pound beautiful black female purebred NEWFOUNDLAND Service Dog. She is a rescue-turned-service situation, wherein she was almost at death's door, but, with the grace of both God and St. Francis of Assisi (patron saint of animals on whose feast day I was blessed to be born) I was able to bring her back, while at the same time becoming medically worse myself, but not being aware of it. The roles reversed. I went from being her nurse, to becoming her patient. It was a 6 a.m. incident in the middle of a shopping mall parking lot, covered with January ice patches, that I experienced a very long episode of vertigo. I leaned on Bubbz for stability as there was nothing near me but her (hips and shoulders) with both hands. She sensed my fear/situation and stood stock-still. But just as suddenly I went into, without warning, an ocular migraine attack - excrucitating pain about my eyes, held my head to put pressure, and then suffered a visual field blackout - I panicked - moved my left hand along the leash to her collar and, at the same time praying, I said in a commanding voice: "Bubbles, home!" She got me right to the front door of our apartment building by "pulling" me to safety. She has never received formal training, she "senses" my oncoming attacks and acts accordingly - instinctively. I have Chronic Migraine Disease which, aside from the headaches (which she warns me of by leaning on my legs to force me to sit), I suffer vision loss, disorientation (which she senses and corrects me on), and vertigo (I can lean on her). I have been also diagnosed with DDD (degenerative disc disease in lumbar spine and hips - whose pain is constant, either dull or sharp - but movement always labored). Bubbz does "shoulder checks" to keep both eyes on me, waits at step-ups and step-downs, and takes voice, leash or hand signal commands. Additionally I have been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration in both eyes, but since she can handle the ocular migraine blackouts, I trust that she will be here for me as my vision fades in time. They are called Gentle Giants and Heroic Companions (she guards me like a hawk). Bubbles is fully devoted to me and my welfare and she is my really amazing grace in my life. As are my 4 silly cats who are also there for me. God bless you.
Bubbles is my personal dog - she is medically and legally certified through Ontario Regulations here in Ontario Canada, has her own bus pass, and is loved and respected by all who genuinely appreciate the work and devotion of our Service Dogs/Soulmates/Best Friends.
VAL and BUBBLES