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Dogs have always been part of my life. As a child my family had
Border Collies, German Shepherds and a Red Setter. On one occasion
I nearly had my own dog! My father came home one night with a
present behind his back for his little 2 year old son. He pulled out
a Miniature Poodle! My mother gave him the choice, “Either that
goes or you go!” Needless to say, I went without my own dog for a
few more years.
At 16 I joined the army and spent many happy years working towards
my dream of world domination!!! Well, maybe not world domination,
but to do the best that I could to have a positive effect on the lives
of the people I met.
I did manage to get a few bumps and scratches along the way, most
due to my choice of career and a few were due to my love of fast
motorbikes and being a rebel without a cause. Unfortunately all of
this came to head in 2005 when I was seriously injured and my life
decided to take a new and interesting route.
I am now a wheelchair user, have epilepsy, a speech
impairment, limited vision, hearing impaired, short term memory
issues and a few other little bits and bobs for fun. Who would
have thought that I wasn’t Superman and didn’t have superhuman
powers!? Well I wasn’t aware of that for sure.
On my return home, I already had a loyal pooch by the name of Mille.
She was by my side through the good and bad times and would never leave me whenever I was unwell.
I didn’t know anything about Assistance Dogs, but my physiotherapist and occupational therapists did. They told me that I should apply to have Mille trained up to become my Assistance Dog. So with this info, I turned to my trusty friend Google and hunted for assistance dog charities. Unfortunately they all seemed to provide Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Labradoodles. I already had a dog and wanted her to be trained to help me. I then came across another Assistance Dog charity that would train your pet dog. Wow, this was perfect. I read more and it sounded exactly what I wanted. I didn’t like the idea of her being taken off me to train her for me, but I thought that was a small price to pay for years of having Mille by my side wherever I go. So I contacted them and that was when the bad news came. They do not train “guarding breeds”!!! Mille was a Rottweiler, but the most loyal and loving of companions. No matter what I said, they wouldn’t change their views. Feeling hard done by, I carried on my hunt and came across an Assistance Dog charity called Dog A.I.D. that was local to me and they didn’t discriminate against individual breeds. Fabulous!!! Unfortunately, by this point Mille was getting a little “mature”, but by coincidence I'd had a puppy the year before who was much like I was before I was injured (a rebel without a cause).
And this was when Rossi stepped up to begin training with Dog A.I.D. to become my Assistance Dog.