Post by truwrecks on May 30, 2014 10:59:24 GMT -8
This is my tribute to Domino. He was a Springer Spaniel with a huge heart and soul of a service dog.
Many people told me I was crazy for getting a Springer Spaniel. Especially a Springer that came from a hyper father and mother. Having had 2 prior Springers I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting. I was getting a loyal, noble friend that had endless love and energy. That is exactly what Domino turned out to be.
Domino started his service dog training at the age of 5. By the time he was 6 he was a pro at behaving in public and responding to seizures. He had a great sense of smell and would use it to show me if I had any infections that I couldn't see yet. In 2011 I started using a wheelchair part time and Domino instinctively knew what mushing was. From the first time we practiced he did almost everything correctly. He quickly learned directional commands including forward, slowly, faster, right, left, backup an stop. In addition to the wheelchair skills he learned spacial awareness around the wheelchair. He knew to follow or lead depending on the area we would approach.
When strangers saw Domino with a service dog vest they would laugh and doubt he really was one. Then he would do something that would dumbfound the doubters. He would perform a service related task without me saying any verbal commands. I would often use body gestures with Domino so he would know what I wanted if we were in a noisy or super quiet environment. People often commented on how well Domino behaved. They frequently said he didn't act like a Springer.
Domino had two distinct personalities. Without his service vest he more bouncy than Disney's Tigger. He was the physical manifestation of ADHD. When he had his vest on he was all business. He loved putting on his vest. It gave him a purpose bigger than himself. He knew he was helping to better my quality of life, and that he did more than I could ever say.
He even took protecting me very seriously. He was not comfortable with anything else that I got for protection.
Domino was my companion, friend and helping hand. He could pull my wheelchair, pick up anything I dropped, smell infections, sense and respond to seizures and muscle spasms.
I general Domino made my life worth living. He gave me a reason to get out of bed every day. He returned to me unconditional love and happiness. He greeted every day with a smile and wonder. Domino gave my life Springertude!
I miss his smile every morning. I miss his tail wagging so hard and fast his whole butt would shake. I miss his perky ears and facial expressions when I talked to him. He would even try to talk back to me at times. He was very bright and very inquisitive. He would stalk birds in the yard just to chase them for the fun of it. He wouldn't hurt them if he caught them. He would let them go and chase them as they tried to fly away. Life to Domino was a wonderful game.
Domino made me a better person. He helped me have a better life. Thank you Domino!
At the young age of 8, on May 1st, 2014 Domino died from seizures caused by a brain tumor. He left a hole in my heart that can never be filled.
Rest in Peace Domino! You earned every bit of it, and then some!