AMY WRITES LONG ONES--- ALL BE IT INTERESTING- THIS IS APPARENTLY FOR THE RECIPIENTS BOOK WE ARE PUTTING TOGETHER... I INCLUDE IT TO REMIND US ALL WHY WE SPEND HOURS PICKING POO AND FOLDING LAUNDRY.
YOU MIGHT WANT IT FOR CUT & PASTE.
HOPE YOU ARE KEEPING WARM!
AMY & SEAGRAM
Thank you for the gift of Seagram, a gift of a more normal life. It is not a perfect life, but the reality is that life is never perfect anyway — and we share a very good life together.
I have now been blessed to have Seagram for almost 2 1/2 years. Every day when I wake up, she is the first thing that I see, and there is no better way than to start the day than by seeing her sweet face.
Seagram has enabled me to resume activities that I love, and she given me a sense of freedom because I am so much safer with her there. We have been out gardening in the yard together, and she really loves this — because she also gets to “go free” when I am safely focused on the task at hand (and don’t need to walk around)...Before Seagram, I had made it to the beach only a handful of times in a few years, despite the fact that I loved to hear the rhythm of the waves rocking onshore. Now, with her, I am regularly able to go to the beach — and this has become our “happy place” to share together. She loves to run & explore the scents and sights, while I simply enjoy being there, and also sharing in her delight.
In addition, Seagram has enabled me to get out and take on adventures that I had shied away from, even before my medical challenges began — like going to see the Rockettes last year. It is intimidating to go to a venue that seats almost 6000, but with Seagram by my side, we did it!! We have been to multiple Broadway shows, enjoyed many walks in Central Park together, and other outings like the Met. People are consistently amazed at her good behavior, and we strive to share how a real Service Dog behaves — and how well she was trained.
One of the best things that Seagram has enabled me to do is to see my family. Before her, I had been able to travel to Ohio only once in 5 years, because of new challenges that continually arose, as well as the difficulty of getting out with a walker (or relying on the decreased stability of a cane). This Dane is so much better!! I have been able to see my family for two Thanksgivings, including finally meeting my nephew, who is now 2. Seagram has enabled priceless memories to be made, including enjoying Thanksgiving with my 90-year old Grandma. And my family marvels at how she helps me, and my increased independence because of our teamwork.
There have been a few surprises along the way. Sure, I knew that I would walk more safely with Seagram by my side. I didn’t expect that she would react as I was falling, and go in front of me to “catch” me as I slipped, when the threshold by the front door was slippery after a nor’easter. That day, she prevented a fall that would have resulted in awful injuries. I also did not expect that Seagram would make me laugh at least daily, often with her silly zoomies in the back yard, or rolling around in the grass, and other such antics. And I am surprised by the comfort of her constant companionship. I have had dogs as pets before, but this is a special, different relationship, where she sometimes knows what I need before I do. As an example, if I get tired while outside, she will nudge me to signal that it is time for me to rest. Before her, I had the bad habit of pushing too hard on a good day, but she encourages me to pace myself. We have been able to do more together this way.
The other unexpected part are the friendships that I have made through Seagram & SDP. I have become close with other recipients. We had the honor of attending the wedding when her sister’s person married. We have also become close with another recipient (who has Seagram’s brother) and have enjoyed Broadway shows together, as well as watching the siblings running & playing in Central Park. In addition to friendships with recipients, there are several CPs that are friends — last week, we went out to dinner with a CP and her husband. It was such a fun evening, filled with interesting conversation, that I didn’t realize we were there for 4 hours!! Last month, we met another CP and her husband when they visited New York City. The 3 ladies first enjoyed tea together (honestly, Seagram just enjoyed the nap), and then our husbands joined us for dinner. There is another CP that we have become very close with, and Seagram now considers her to be “Auntie Anna.”
So thank you for the gift of Seagram, and for the increased independence, as well as the friendships and community that came with her. What a wonderful package, all together with a gorgeous, well-trained, smart girl!!