When you apply for an assistance dog through Canine Companions for Independence (who did not solicit this blog post; all opinions are my own), you think a lot about your comfort zone, your daily routine, what you are able to do and would like to do. That last part snuck up on me, because after I was placed with my dog, my independence, safety, and happiness exploded.
I have written a novel for young readers, applied for and received a generous scholarship to a Revision Retreat Workshop from the Highlights Foundation in order to attend the workshop with Patterson, and am taking a 5-week course on writing and refining chapter books in preparation for the workshop. If you had told me a year ago that I would’ve had Patterson for 9 and a half months and would be excited to do these things rather than too scared to try, I would not have believed you. Day-to-day, it is about not needing human assistance and taking many retrieved items from the mouth of a smiling yellow Lab/Golden cross. But triumph by triumph, it is about how differently I see my world now that Patterson is in it.
With great opportunity comes great responsibility.