Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You Asked For Charlie, You Got It!!!

As many of you know, we worship Charlie. I think he could easily be compared to any child out there...and in a few ways even better. I know everyone talks about the family pet as if they really are a member of the family. They tend to take on very distinct personalities, no matter how annoying or make huge messes still seem to be so cute, and they are always missed when away. Animals have a soft spot in any normal human's heart. They are here to make us laugh and to help us cry. Leah is called Mom and I am called Dad, we don't have any kids, we have Charlie. Charlie has gone everywhere with us since the day we got him. At the time, Paris Hilton was setting an important precedent in the world with her "purse" dogs. Naturally, Leah picked up on that realizing Charlie was the right size(when he was young). Three days after we got him, we took him on a bike ride. He was stuffed down my jacket with his head poking out and his infamous ears hitting me in face. He went bowling, to the store, to the movies(he barked and growled at Darth Vader's first appearance in Star Wars), to plays, etc. Anywhere we felt we had a good chance of not getting caught, Charlie was there. Lucky for us, we can play all this off as training. Little did we know of what he was capable of. He was definatly loved as the average dog is, despite everything that he ruined when he was teething. Probably a bit spoiled. But now, he deserves every bit of it. One year and four months ago, Charlie went to doggy bootcamp to become a service animal for Leah. When Leah started having seizures we noticed that Charlie would behave oddly right before and during any episode. We researched service animals and found that some dogs are capable of sensing a seizure before they actually happen, sometimes 45 minutes before. We also found at disability group in Salt Lake that allows you to train your own dog. What a remarkable possibility to be warned that a seizure is imminent! When we walked into class the first day, we were snickered at. We didnt have the standard Golden Retriever or Labrador. We had Charlie, a miniature pinscher, weighing in at 12 pounds and a foot and half tall, four long skinny legs and huge goofy ears. Like most pets Charlie took on the personality of his owner, Leah. Fiesty and competitive. He wasnt intimidated by the bigger dogs and let them know it. He still has a problem with other dogs sniffing his butt, he hates it. He immediatly outperformed all the other dogs and turned a two year service dog training course into one year time. He has never missed one of Leah's seizures and very astute at his job. So congratulations to Charlie for officially receiving his Service Dog license!!