In September of 2015, My mom and I adopted a dog from Lollypop Farm in NY. At first we had planned on getting a Boston terrier from a different shelter that just didn’t work out. So later that day we decided to take a trip to Lollypop because we were interested in a boxer that they had. It turned out she wasn’t the right fit for us because she needed to meet everyone in our family and being that my brother and sister were away at college we decided that was not fair to the dog, so my mom and I decided to leave and just accept the fact that “the right dog will find us”.
I can’t begin to tell you how true that statement is.
As we were leaving the adoption suite we heard a higher pitched bark and hitting against the fence, so my mom and I stopped and went over and saw a long-haired dachshund named Bear, not exactly what we were looking for, but he was the cutest thing I had ever seen, I just had to visit with him. My mom and I fell in love with him. However, we told my Dad that we were coming home with a Boston terrier which is a very different dog. So we asked if anyone else was interested in Bear because we were, but we had to go home and talk to my dad who is usually picky about dogs, and we weren’t so sure that he would say yes, so we took our chances and did not leave a deposit, hoping no one else would come and adopt him in the mean time.
When we got home and talked to my dad about Bear and showed him his picture he fell in love with him too. It’s hard not to fall in love with a dog like Bear. So my mom called Lollypop back hoping to leave a deposit to ensure that we could adopt him, we were told “he hasn’t stopped crying since you left, I’m putting an adopted sign on his kennel right now just be here by 6”.
So we went to Walmart and bought him everything he would need, then we stopped back at Lollypop and adopted him. Shortly after we adopted him we learned that he was abused at his previous home, the vet we took him to did his checkup about a week after we adopted him and she saw that his two front legs had been broken and never set properly and his nose had also been broken, all I could think about was how could anyone abuse this sweet little guy… Or any dog for that matter. For the first few months we had to spoon-feed Bear because every time he ate he would quiver because he thought someone was going to beat him up for eating. Or every time we told him “no” he ran in his crate trembling and crying that someone was going to hurt him.
The first time he played with me he accidentally bit my hand, I still remember the look on his face when that happened, he was mortified. So right away we figured out he was from an abusive situation. But he worked through all of those fears and ended up being the best dog we could ever ask for.
About 5 months after we adopted Bear I got very sick. I have a heart condition that I was born with that just in March of 2016 decided to present itself and cause major problems. Because of this heart condition I lose consciousness, and have had seizures. Out of no where Bear started to alert my parents or other family members when I passed out. He will get on top of me and bark like crazy until someone comes to help get me out of the episode. Also if someone doesn’t come as quick as he thinks they should then he will bite me (not hard enough to break the skin or anything, just enough to get me out of the episode), which we think he does that because he sees people pinch me when I am in the episode so I think he thinks it’s the same thing. Not only does he do that, he will even get my bottle of medicine to give to either myself if I’m with it enough, or to whoever has come to help me.
Bear can also tell when something is about to happen to me, we have found that if I’m up and around, and about to have an episode he will herd me back to bed so that he knows I’m safe. On my really bad days my Mom just looks at him and says “Bear-Bear, watch her and don’t let her move”, he then gets on top of my legs and watches me until my Mom says it is ok. I literally can’t move until she tells him it is ok for me to move.
So we were telling his vet about all that he does for me and how we didn’t train him to do any of it, he just started doing it one day, and she told us to get him registered as a service dog, now a little over a year later he is my service dog.
By: Mandy Skrypka