The Adventures of a Great Dane Service Dog

&

His Human Handler.

Making the decision to bring Sven into my life has meant everything to me! And everything leading up to this moment has also cost me everything. But I can’t imagine a life without him either. This magnificent being gives me a reason to get up every day with purpose again and has saved me in ways I’ll never know. Without him, I undoubtedly would have fixed my resolve to live the rest of my life as a recluse in medical decline. And for this, I am forever in his debt and grateful for the opportunity to be his handler.

I was probably in the lowest of place of my life, some might say rock bottom, dealing with my physical impairments and just recovering from life-saving surgery for the 3rd time in less than 4 yrs. and I know I’m facing more just over the horizon, so there’s no time to waste, daylight’s burning.

He helps to keep me walking upright without the fear of falling or getting hurt again. Like my own personal catamaran, he is trained to counterbalance my every step. I can do more and go further now than I ever could with a walker; which is what I was using to ambulate around before him.

Hunched over, getting surgical adhesions, increasing pain from spinal ailments, and barely shuffling my feet to walk, ankles like tree stumps. I began avoiding doing things because of the extra effort it involved, embarrassed and afraid to be out in public with it, because I knew what it meant. Fearful of falling, getting stuck in snow, ice, sleet, rain, wondering about lightening, and dealing with harassing types of people because they know you’re vulnerable or the ones that think you’re faking, or people that fold it up and take it away out of reach thinking they’re helping to motivate you.

This amazing being has saved me by giving new purpose to my life and hope. I had to get up every day, I had to take care of him, let him out, feed him, train him… be successful at it, be accountable for him, failure is simply not an option here. No easy feat when you’re still full of staples. But just like rock, paper, scissors, - staples beats dirt, and so long as I’m not 6 feet under it, I might as well give this a go.

And so it began, not as simple as that, but just like that, devil be damned and naysayers alike, somehow despite it all I made it happen.

Our life goal (bucket list item) is to eventually walk the Camino de Santiago together, but now with the onset of Covid-19 entering the mix, I’m not sure how that is going to pan out, if ever but we shall see. Perhaps we should start off with some smaller endeavors like seeing the Northern Lights or the Grand Canyon, albeit, I’m not very fond of camping, snakes or creepy crawlies. But maybe, just maybe we’ll put it all into storage, rent an RV and take to the roads.

We are currently working on our first book together.

In the meantime, enjoy our day to day blog, it’s sure to be full of little triumphs, shenanigans and occasional real life shitstorms.