Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of articles about service dogs. With all my information about service dogs, what they do, and the process of getting one, I think it’s time for a real life account. I did some Internet poking and now I’ll share it with you. Though, I am thinking about possibly doing an interview with a friend of mine who had one. That may come in the future. Depending on if he will be okay with it.
Harlow the golden retriever can put away laundry, grab a water bottle from the fridge, close the dishwasher, and much more. In fact, every day she learns something new. Other dog owners may want to get their hands on this talented pooch. But, this lovely lady’s talents are reserved for someone that truly needs them.
The dog’s 20-year-old owner, Jaquie Blake, suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) — a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. The woman also experiences migraines, narcolepsy, dizziness and frequent fainting spells.
The retriever is training to be a medical alert and mobility service dog. She notifies her owner when she senses something bad is about to happen and assists Blake with her physical limitations.
“Without her, I would be very limited in what I could do with my life,” Blake explained to CBS News. “Leaving the house by myself would be out of the question, let alone [pursuing] a college education and eventually my dream career (occupational therapist).”
About a year ago, Blake started an Instagram account to track her service dog’s progress. Today, that account has more than 70,000 followers and growing.
The dog knows how to get her leash, house keys and pick up virtually anything Blake drops. Some of the most popular videos on Blake’s page — with hundreds of thousands of views — involve Harlow retrieving a water bottle from the fridge when her owner says, “Water bottle, I’m thirsty.”
“Everyone seems to love it,” Blake said. “She will go to the fridge, bring me a bottle of water, and then return to shut the fridge. This is important for when I am too dizzy or in too much pain to move, but I still need to take my medication.”
It’s important to remember that a service dog is not just for a wheelchair-bound person, Blake says. “These dogs can also help people who have invisible illnesses,” she explained. “For example, you cannot see my POTS unless, perhaps, I am unconscious on the floor.”
With Harlow’s increasing popularity, Blake is confident her dog is helping to spread that message. “She has my back,” Blake said.
Harlow has an Instagram account! I encourage everyone to go check it out and witness this amazing golden retriever in action. Harlow is definitely doing great things for the world by showing us that service dogs are not just for the wheelchair bound.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where constant medical conditions keep cropping up. Even if cures are never found, golden retrievers and any other service dogs can at least heal some of the emotional pain.
Information for this article was taken from http://www.cbsnews.com/. You can go there for more information.