I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. Say hi to Marley, our 7 month old pure-bred Maltese.
Marley was on his way to the pound when we had the chance to save him. Getting a dog was the last thing on my mind on the day we got him. I had been exploring the possibility of getting an assistance or support dog to help me around the house and to help me cope with my anxiety and PTSD. When I started looking into getting an assistance dog it was with the idea of giving me a little more independence plus allowing Martin to get out without me a little more. Don't get me wrong, Martin and I enjoy each others company but we can't spend 24 hours a day together.
When starting my research into getting an assistance dog I thought it would be easy enough. I quickly found out that getting a support dog was easier said than done. For me it was not that easy and perhaps I was doing something wrong. Phone call after phone call, I was left more confused and with even more questions. I needed help with being pointed in the right direction. Finding a dog for help around the house and out and about wasn't impossible, but it was hard. At times the stress was setting off my anxiety off. Ironically, this was a large part of why I needed a support dog. Talk about frustrating!
Almost giving up!
There are many great charities out there that provide guide dogs and assistance dogs but it seems that I wasn't eligible for one. I even looked at the possibility of getting my own dog and getting it trained
myself. Not something that someone on the disability pension can really afford but it looked like I didn't have any other option. I had more or less given up.
A random series of events...
Well this is where Marley comes in. In the end, it was a result of a random series of events that led to Marley being given to us. He was on his way to the pound as his previous owner's wife was not able to give him the care he needed. Marley is not a trained support dog or an assistance dog but he has helped reduce my anxiety immensely. Although I can't take Marley to the shops with me as he is not a registered support dog, his extra companionship is what I needed! Before I had a seizure recently, Marley knew beforehand and jumped up on the sofa laying on my chest. He is not trained as an assistance dog but it was crazy that Marley instinctively knew. He's so smart and only 7 months young. I'm now seizure-free for six weeks because of less stress. It's great!
Our future together
My suburb is in an area yet to be rolled out into the NDIS, so I can't comment on how easy or difficult finding an assistance dog would have been if I had gone through the NDIS. What I can tell you is that I would not change how things have ended up! It's strange how things work out in the end. Marley is our little bundle of joy that came along just at the right time. We have the extra expense of feeding and grooming him as well as pet insurance (we have to be a responsible pet owners after all), but its a small price to pay for the comfort that he's given me.
Until next time,
Dream, Believe, Achieve :)