Maddie has truly been a blessing in our lives.She helps not only me but both of my sons as well. I have mobility issues, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Both of my boys have anxiety and one is on the autism spectrum. She has truly become a family service dog helping each of us when we need it the most.
She can sense our anxiety, often before we do, and responds by laying her head on our laps to draw our attention to her. She knows petting her is calming and helps us to focus on something other than our anxiety. She instinctively knows when she is needed. She will also lay on our laps to offer pressure which has a calming effect.
She can sense when my autistic son is going to have a meltdown and will go to him to help him stay calm. Focusing on her, petting her ears, and talking to her helps redirect him.
This has been a game changer for us. Meltdowns as he has gotten older, and bigger, have become more difficult to handle and sometimes he would harm himself or become destructive. But with Maddie here he calms down before it reaches that point. He enjoys working with her and teaching her new tricks and tasks.
She is able to retrieve items for me or pick things up when I drop them on the floor. This has been invaluable, especially if I am alone and have no one else to help me. I have a hard time going out in public, especially alone. I am easily overwhelmed or feel tense because of my PTSD. I often feel vulnerable and fearful when I am in public. She stands behind me and is always alert. I know I can let my guard down a little with Maddie by my side. She will gently nudge me to let me know when someone enters an aisle in a store and offers a buffer between me and others. Maddie’s support has given me a freedom I did not have before
I also love how supportive American Blue Collar Canine has been. They are always available to answer questions and take the time to check in with us to see how things are going. This extra support has been invaluable in our journey with Maddie.