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This is my attempt to show how wonderful life is with Rossi, my amazingly talented and lovable Assistance Dog.
In 2007 a wonderful new life came into the world and a few weeks later that new life joined me to create the most perfect of partnerships. Rossi (as I named him after Valentino Rossi the 7 times world MotoGP Champion) and I then began a wonderful adventure together; Me learning how to get around on wheels instead of legs and Rossi on how to drown me in drool.
Together we've had good times, sad times, celebrated Birthdays and experienced life together. All of these have been managed thanks to my partnership with Rossi. While every day is different, I do realise daily how much better our partnership has improved with each and every obstacle we overcome and every achievement we make.
When I tell people what Rossi can do, people look astonished that a Rottweiler can do so much. His breed surely shouldn’t mean that he’s any less capable of doing what I ask of him. In fact, his breed means he can do more than the usual choice of Assistance Dog. If I need help getting into my wheelchair Rossi will brace and assist me getting into my chair. When an alarm goes off or there's someone at the door he will alert me so I am aware. At cash points he will put my card in and take the cash out (he doesn't know my pin number). Well before a seizure Rossi alerts me and brings me my medication before waiting for a seizure then carefully putting me in the recovery position after it. Once he has done this, he decides whether I need further assistance. If I do he trots off and presses a button that alerts the ambulance. He helps me dress, does the washing and much more, as his breed makes him that much more capable. His strength is an asset and so is the love and respect for one another that we share.
Rossi knows me so well that it is scary sometimes. He knows that certain movements or tones mean one thing. He knows when I’m having a particular challenging day that I may ask more of him than on a good day.
He knows when I'm upset or confused (which is rare but happens) or generally having a bad day. On these days I feel how much more in sync we are. When he is “off duty”, he is still focused on me and wants to be close to me.
Rossi has also inspired a love for the Rottweiler breed that I haven't experienced in a breed before. He loves to work but he also loves to eat and relax. Next to going out, his favourite pastime is sinking his teeth into a raw meaty bone (or a sheep head).