I’m over fifty and from fourteen years of age when my molestation at the hands of my older sibling finally ended. I had a decision to make, there was no child support groups and back then nobody spoke of it, it was never in the news families kept it their dirty secret so my decision was get tough get strong get money and get the hell away.
The only service dogs back then were guide dogs for the blind, when I had nightmares back then I screamed at the wall and sat up till dawn or drank till I was so drunk I didn’t remember the terror.
Then they stopped for a while, I kept my mind busy why think of one thing when four leaves no room for flashbacks?
I was a chef, a bouncer an entertainer a naval reserve I did radio and TV, I did movies but I never got a grip on me.
I never thought I would ever have a real family again, I never thought I would call anyone mum again till I married Ella and met her mom Rita, She gave the unconditional love my mom never knew how to do.
So I let down the guard I had built and I felt again, I even cried again for the first time in 30 years then she died.
Damn her death, I had allowed myself to think moms were real and families didn’t fuck you over again and now she has left me. Within weeks the night mares, the flash backs the horrendous memories were back, not just memories but hi-def. 3d videos as if I was reliving every minute, as if I was back in alexander ave Campbelltown in the bedroom at the end of the hall.
I tried therapy they wanted to heal my gay, I tried another therapist she wanted to do a paper and be published and treated me more like an interview so I stopped. I wrote a book it was cathartic but I had to remember every event everything ever told to me and it was a living nightmare.
Then in 2012 some suggested I would benefit from a service dog so I got a 4 month old pup introduced to me, a Belgian Malinois I called Zeus.
His training started in seizure alert and PTSD support and from the first day he seemed to know when I needed him when I have seizures in bed and my head gets too close to the brick wall he crawls between my thrashing head and the wall, when I have a really bad day when the flashbacks are at their worst he crawls onto my lap and grabs my hand until I pat him.
When I get flustered in a public place and want to find a safe place to fall he stands up on my lap and touches forehead to forehead,
he keeps me sane ,he keeps me alive he keeps me safe and all he ever asks is to sleep on my bed and have his belly rubbed.
He is trained to go to the drop in restaurants or doctors’ offices
or on the subway or a bus,
When I have an injured arm or I have a seizure in my chair he steps out in front and pulls me like a sled dog. He is a nurse a therapist a bodyguard and best friend all rolled into one.
My Zeus does what my medical insurance could never approve, what my family could never afford to replace Zeus or all the Zeus’s in the world for me and every paraplegic for every epileptic for every wounded warrior the republicans wouldn’t just have to pay 30-50 thousand for a service dog they would have to pay the wages the insurance the 401k of at least 7-10 people.
It would cost a hell of a lot more than 50 thousand dollars per person, and not one of those people could provide one ounce of the loving care Zeus provides every minute of every day.
So yes service dogs are worth their weight in gold, worth their weight in emotional support and they are necessary for those who need them.
So friends , readers meet the friend who saves my life every day he is cute( every woman in new York tells me so) he is as soft as teddy bear, as protective as guard dog as loving as mother and as non-judgmental as the closest friend who has kept all your secrets from birth and as talented as a the best therapist in the world and he’s all mine.