My ma has MS and she has down days". These are days that ma can't really do anything but lay around. Her pain level goes really high and she can't do a lot of things. Being that I am her medical alert/service dog, I stay with her continuously. I know when a pawrent doesn't feel well a faithful companion will stay by their side and lay with them the whole time. I go beyond that. I know before my ma does that she is going to be having her down days. I get very pushy with her. Some say I become a "bully". I insist that Ma lays down. I push her with my head or I will stand up on her and gently push her to the bedroom or to the nearest chair. When she is in her bed and she tries to get up I will lay across her legs. I know that she can't walk well by herself. When she needs to go to the bathroom , I go with her. She holds on to me while I lead her to the bathroom and then I have to brace my legs so that she can use me to push herself up and she will hold on to me while I lead her back to her bed. It's not a easy job but it is one that I have learned to do. I know the words "Brace", "Pull" "get help" to name a few.
When we are out walking and ma's legs start to get heavy I start pulling her, if she uses the word PULL. If I know that she isn't going to make it very far I will stop and won't budge until she rest a little. There are times when Ma thinks that she is going to leave the house and I know that she can't so I will stop her. I will lay in front of the door and won't budge. She thinks she is sneaky and she will try to go to the back door to leave only to find me there not budging. There have been times that she will say "how many Poodles to do I? You were just at the front door!"
I go to her Dr. appointments with her, and most every where she goes. If she goes out without me I do not like it. I can't keep a eye or nose on her. When I am home with my dad and she is gone I will pester him till he says "do you want me to call your mom" I answer with a tail wag or a bark. He calls her and says Poodale wants you home. There are times he puts the phone to my ear so I can hear her voice. She tells me she is ok and will be home soon. When she does get home she has to get sniffed all over. It worries me that she is going to have a episode and there will be no one there to help. If we are out and about and I know that she is going to have one of her episodes such as dizziness, weakness etc, I will guide her to a place that she can sit and rest.
There has been a time or two that I have had to go get help from someone who works at the store we were in. Once we were at a store and ma passed out. I had to run to the check outs and get someone to come and help her. I can also bring her the phone or even the thingy that turns the channel on the TV. It is sorta funny that I won't "bring" a toy but I will "bring" her things that she needs. I am a constant sniffer. I sniff her legs a lot. I sniff her head a lot. I will lick on her feet or legs or paw at them before she has spasms. I don't know what they are but I know her toes will go in all directions or her muscles will get really tight. I am always watching out for ma. When she is in the yard "playing" as she calls it and I know she is over doing it. I will bully her to sit and rest often. My daddy is often telling her "you better listen to your Poodle". I sorta like when he says that cause that means I can boss. BOL!
I am a balance dog but I alert her to certain things that I know will be happening. When I know ma is going to have a panic/anxiety attack, I insist that she pets me. I will rub her hand with with my head. Ma can't resist a poodle head! :) There has been times I thought she was going to pet the hair right off of me but that is ok if it calms her down then its worth it. She has gotten so mad at herself at times that she would bust out in tears and I was there to catch the tears with the hair on my head that we call a "poof" My poof has caught many of tears. I have licked many tears off ma's face. My ma fights her MS everyday. Some days its easier to fight and someday's its not.
I have also pulled my ma when she has used a wheel chair while shopping. Sometimes those electric carts aren't always charged. I also help her in and out of chairs. When we are walking and see ma's starting to walk like she has had a few too many drinks , I will walk to the opposite side so that my leash will go around her back, and guide her more on a steady path. There also has been times when we have walked in to a store and I will turn around and walk her straight back out to the car. She has argued with me before but soon found out I knew what I was doing. We have sit in the car many times waiting for ma to recover from a weakness spell. I just look at it as our time together.
I am a Service Dog.It has taken years for ma and I to learn each other. We work together to give her a better life. I have a job. I am needed. I have been trained (or have trained her) for her needs. I have the right to decline a person other than my ma to pet me when I am working, I have to stay focused on my her and if you are wanting my attention to pet me then it breaks my concentration. If you see us out and want to pet me,please ask first. If I decline by stepping back, it doesn't mean I don't want to be petted, it means I am working.