Thursday January 24, 2013
Wheel Power: Doggie dearest
By ANTHONY THANASAYAN
Life has not been the same since a Doberman pup came into the writerís life two years ago.
DOBE ACE ZHAR, my service dog in training, turned two on Monday. The amazing Doberman was treated to a small but wonderful private party the day before in the very home where the black and rust-coloured pup was born.
The high-tea was attended by some notable guests. They included a couple of local research scientists, a doctor, an engineer and a plumber Ė all of whom are ardent believers of the power of animal-assisted therapy.
If dogs could only read and talk, there is so much that we, as pet lovers, would like to say to them.
Hereís a letter that I scribbled for Zhar on the eve of his birthday which I would like to share with you. I hope it will give you an insight into how much animals can contribute to the lives of people with disabilities.
My life simply hasnít been the same since you came to live with me almost two years ago. It was only after I collected you that I realised we were alone in the car with no able-bodied persons around.
What if the car stalled midway? Or if there was an accident? Or a road bully confronted us?
Excuses like these which kept me at home didnít work this time. I was so excited about having you come and share my life with me.
You never once judged me, laughed at me or put me down because of my human weaknesses. You accepted me, disabilities and all.
Even now when I am older and markedly slower, you never insist that I hurry up or expect me to move at your lightning pace.
You insist that your kibbles are tastiest when I feed you. And itís me Ė not my able-bodied chums Ė who is your best playmate.
Thank you for retrieving all the things I need like my portable urinal, comb, toothpaste, coins, keys and shoes.
However, I would rather you leave some of my valuables like my watch or my Galaxy Note II alone.
Your antics leave me in stitches, and this is good, especially during times when I am down.
Pressure sores were a nightmare until you came along. Now I can count on you to zero in on any wounds so that I can get them treated immediately.
People look at me differently now whenever I am with you. Gone are the stares of sympathy. Instead, you invite comments like: ďHey, thatís a handsome-looking dog you have there. Did you train him yourself?Ē
If only they knew the truth, Zhar.
Happy birthday, my wonderful Zhar. Hereís to many, many more joyous adventures with you.