Kirsten & Teddy

Hi, my name is Teddy, and I am a Havanese. Right now I am lying next to my favorite person in the world, Kirsten. Her teacher is talking World Religions, and I guess that means I am in the 11th grade. I have such be responsibilities and I just turned one year old!

You see, I became Kirsten's dog when I was 10 weeks old. I started Obedience classes when I was 14 weeks old, and I have gone weekly ever since. I became Kirsten's service dog when I was 8 months old because I am smart! I passed the requirements to start training in public with Kirsten.

My family stays in contact with Puppy Love as I learn to be Kirsten's service dog to the best of my abilities. They originally purchased me from Briarpatch Havanese to be Kirsten's alert dog. She has P.O.T.S. (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). She developed P.O.T.S. in 7th grade but became most ill at age 15. She has been homebound from school for one year now. Life changed much for Kirsten when this happened, including much loneliness being away from her friends. That's where I came in.

Kirsten is dizzy all of the time--I may be able to learn to alert her if it becomes dangerous for her. Kristen has trouble digesting food, so nausea is tough. Again, if I can help her laugh or take her mind off these symptoms, I feel successful. Kristen aches in all her joints, feeling like the flu most of the time. It would be easy for her to stay home doing what humans do when they have the flu, but then weeks and months would pass by with life going on with Kirsten. I cannot allow that, and so I encourage her every day. I go out as much as 4 time a day with her!

I know that my routine is different when I am wearing my service jacket. Not being touched by children in public is hard for the child and hard for me, but I know that Kirsten and I are advocates for people with disabilities. You see, there are many people whose disabilities aren't obvious to the public. This may illicit responses of doubt or wondering--what could that little dog possibly do for a 5 foot, 9 inch human? I may only be 10 lbs, but don't underestimate me!! Service and assistance dogs are used for a wide variety of invisible disabilities. A trained alert dog can sense when a seizure, hypoglycemic reaction, or episode of losing consciousness cold occur and alerts the owner before this happens. This insight can allow a proactive response. Other invisible disabilities include migraines, Crohn's disease, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, to name just a few.

It is very important that I try to keep Kirsten's life as normal as possible. I will do anything to help her do that. She needs me, and I need her. It's a win-win situation!! We will make a difference for invisible disabilities. We will make a difference in our world!!

Teddy The Havanese







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