My dog, Tony, needed surgery. His tail was broken. It flopped over, spilling red foam on the carpet. I wrapped him in clothes and nestled him in my knapsack, airlifting him from the East Coast to the West.
I was so excited to have him here that we immediately went for a walk in the great outdoors. I made a joke, and he laughed his head off.
I rushed him to the emergency room. After surgery to reattach his head and to heal his tail, he was ready to come home. The surgeon placed him in a cardboard box filled with tissue paper. I did a bed transfer and put him in a basket.
He wanted to go out for a stroll, but I said he needed to rest.
A week later, his wish came true. We trotted all around the neighborhood. Then I took him on the bus. When I paid my fare, I held up his basket and told the driver, "This is my service dog." The driver said, "That is the best service dog I have ever seen."
At the next stop, a black lab seeing-eye dog stepped into the aisle. He and Tony made eye contact and started networking about their professions.
After running our errand, we got back on the bus. When I told the new driver that Tony was my service dog, she said sternly, "Only if it stays under control."
We got off in Berkeley and headed home. Just then, Tony spotted three dogs. We went over to say hello. One was a gray, furry, curly-haired mix, another was a Pyrenees lab concoction, and the third was a collie. She came right over and nuzzled Tony's nose back and forth.
Despite surgery, Tony wasn't lagging. His little tail was wagging.
Causes Eva Schlesinger Supports
Center For Young Women's Development
Alameda County Library Foundation