I have been working very hard lately, my Person and I have had some free time so we were learning some new tricks.
“REST” – this task is to help my Person when she is having a mild anxiety attack. I lay my head on her lap and stay there until she tells me to go back. There are some people who think that this is just something a dog does when they sense their handler is upset – but for most dogs it is not something they would think to do, or they do it for a second and move away when they are ready not when the handler is ready. So for most dogs it needs to be taught.
“HUG” – this task is to help my Person when she is having a major anxiety attack. I jump up and lay across her to perform deep pressure therapy.
Both these tasks were simple and easy to master but very useful when your handler has anxiety.
Since I am a big dog I take up a lot of space and end up blocking walkways and paths in shops when I lay down. So my Person taught me to crawl and lay under a chair, so that I am out of the way of other shoppers, or under her legs when there is no space under the chair.
I was a little scared of the confined space at first but when I realised that if I lay there I got a tasty treat I would happily crawl under the chair.
“DRINK” – this task is where I bring a small bag from the cupboard in the kitchen to my Person wherever she is. The bag has medication, a bottle of water and a small sugary snack. It has taken me a while to finally master this one since it is a very difficult task, but I am now able to reliably fetch the bag from another room and I can even go back and shut the cupboard door.
Another task my Person and I have just started learning is fetching the washing basket and helping her undress while in her wheelchair. I am only up to taking off socks and putting them in the basket but soon I’ll be able to move up to pants and long sleeved shirts.