It’s early morning. I’m awake because my GI system is WIDE awake. I’m laying here in bed with Macallan pressed against me. His head on my shoulder, his paw wrapped around my arm. His breathing is steady and warm and it tickles beautifully across my elbow. He’s heavy on my body and it makes me feel safe and loved.
The real amazement of this scene is that every 5-20 min for the last two hours, I’ve rushed up, shoving him quickly aside, and booked it to my amazing indoor plumbing system. Macallan could stay in bed, it’s large and warm and memory foam and his daddy is lightly snoring right beside me. But he doesn’t. He dutifully gets up, walks behind me the 20 steps or so, and lays down near my feet. Then, once I’m ready, we return to bed together and he jumps up on the bed, stretches his long body against mine, puts his head on my shoulder, and falls back asleep. His deep warm breaths soothe me as I relax.
This scenario has been repeated more times than I care to count this early Sunday morning.
When people ask me what Service Dogs do I talk about trained disability mitigating tasks, public access training, and having medical equipment that is alive and emotive, and opinionated. But it’s these quiet, secret moments that are 99% of their job. It’s making sure I’m steady on my bajillionth trip 20 steps to the bathroom. It’s giving me deep breaths to match my own to as I wait to see when and if I’ll make a run for it again. It’s not being cued at all but choosing to go back and forth even though he’s fast asleep. It’s hard to explain those things sometimes. Those little things they do that matter so much. Those things that make you feel less alone and normalized. It’s the buddy system.