A year and a half ago I was just about to give up on training with my service dog, Munroe. After a whole week of living at National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), in Princeton Massachusetts, I was seriously considering not graduating with the rest of my class at the end of the subsequent week. It wasn’t because I was tired of the training drills I had to learn everyday; and it wasn’t because I didn’t like my new golden retriever. What worried me was the amount of time and energy I would have to put into him in the years following. At only 15 years old, I was scared of the responsibility of caring for this enormous and furry baby. I didn’t think I could do it; I was about to turn in my leash and quit.
Well, was I ever wrong! I went home that first weekend with my 18-month-old puppy, ready to give up. But being home made me remember how excited I was to finally get my service dog and how I had been so proud to tell my friends and family that I had been chosen to train with a service dog. I have always been an ambitious individual and I’m definitely not one to give up and thank God I didn’t. I graduated with Munroe in the spring of 2003 and truthfully I have no idea what I would do without him. I know that I am very lucky to have a friend like Munroe. I am reminded of my luck every time Munroe picks up something that I have dropped, every time he flips my light switch off when I want to go to sleep, and every time that I am at the mall and people smile at me and talk with me. I owe that to Munroe. He is with me every day and every night – whenever I need him, he’s there; whether I am at school or in my own home. Munroe and I have a symbiotic relationship; he helps me everyday and in turn I share that love with him. I groom him and feed him and play with him too. He isn’t only a physical accompaniment, he acts as my stress reliever because who couldn’t fall in love with that adorable face!? But as I sit here and look at him, sprawled across the floor, I know that my favorite thing about Munroe the Service Dog is that he is my best friend.
Love, Laura Beth Jacquin