If you were diagnosed with a life threatening illness, you might not think that a dog would be one of the most essential members of your health care team. But service dogs provide some of the most important emotional support for chronically ill patients, which is what this teen found out — as soon as her new service dog stopped being scared of her wheelchair.
Now, they’re best buddies. Chloe Fuller, 19, was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome when she was 13 years old. The illness causes her heart rate to increase when she’s sitting up and standing, which is why she started using a wheelchair about three years ago.
Some time after, she decided to start using a service dog to help her get ready in the morning and perform chores that most of us take for granted. Through Dog Assistance in Disability (AID), she found Ted, who was then only five months old. The problem? The pup was terrified of her wheelchair.
But then something happened to change all that.
On her next visit, Chloe collapsed on the floor, and Ted ran over and laid on her chest until she recovered. His quick moves had Chloe “hooked.” She spent the next year training him until they qualified as a match under the program guidelines. Chloe said that she really wanted to train the pup herself instead of getting matched with a pre-trained dog.
Now, Ted helps her get dressed and put things in the wash for her, which means her family has fewer care-taking responsibilities. Chloe told Metro UK, “The only thing Mum has to do now is make meals and drinks. I haven’t quite figured out how to get Ted to make a cup of tea yet.”
Just look at some the things Ted can do…
Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world, Chloe! This is exactly the kind of inspirational story we needed today. Also, we won’t hold Ted’s lack of cooking skills against him…