Friday, April 29, 2011
New Service Dog Partnership Memoir: A Dog Named Slugger
She addressed her colleagues, “Okay, everyone, we’d like to get started. We’re honored to have with us Vickie Polk and Leigh Brill from Caring Canine Companions of Virginia. They’re going to be telling us a little bit about their lovely dogs.” She turned and smiled at the Labradors who were now lying quietly in heel position. “How beautiful! And so calm, too!”
Sensing appreciation in the woman’s tone, Slugger flicked his tail twice. “Well you’re welcome, gorgeous!” His admirer cooed. Laughter rippled through the audience as she settled into to an empty folding chair.
Now Vickie stood. “Thank you all for inviting us. I’m a trainer with Caring Canine Companions. This is Zack, my newest student.”
She gestured to the black Lab. Then she pointed toward me. “That’s Leigh and her new service dog, Slugger. They’ve joined us today, so Leigh can see what it’s like to be on this side of a presentation. The two of them have been working really hard finishing up their team training, and I’m happy to say they’re turning into an impressive pair. Slugger does a great job helping Leigh deal with the challenges of her cerebral palsy.”
Vickie paused and beamed at me, but I was suddenly besieged by a wave of panic. Oh God, the voice in my head shrieked, I can’t believe she just told a room full of strangers I have CP! Now I was afraid to look at the audience, afraid I’d find their faces pinched by morbid curiosity. I’d encountered such expressions all my life.
Buy A Dog Named Slugger (Note:I get no support from the sale of this book, but service dog programs do!)