Hearing Assistance Dog Client, Amy, talks about how her life changed since Mindy was placed with her four years ago.
Several years after I had cochlear implants bilaterally implanted, I still disliked wearing them. I was living with my parents, was employed part-time at a minimum wage job, and didn’t feel like my life was going anywhere. I was at a loss how to change anything. I began working with a therapist for depression and anxiety, who after many sessions and personal growth, encouraged me to get a dog to have something else to focus on and to take care of responsibly.
I was still somewhat reluctant because I never had a dog before, but the idea had definitely taken root. Ultimately, I decided to apply for a Certified Hearing Assistance Dog from DBL so the dog could accompany me everywhere.
I received an email from DBL in November of 2018 stating, “We have a dog that has finished her Hearing Dog training and we think she is a good match for you!” I immediately said, “yes!” I couldn’t have been more excited to welcome Mindy and to work with DBL. There was a great deal of anxiety, anticipation, and excitement leading into the first meeting. I had all of Mindy’s things ready for her and worried that she wouldn’t like something, or she wouldn’t like me, or that I’d do something wrong.
When Mindy arrived, we were both a little cautious. There was some sniffing on her part and tentative pets on mine. Mindy was a little shy and preferred to remain close to her trainer, Jess. Fortunately, Jess was the most amazing matchmaker, breaking the ice between human and dog before ensuring that Mindy and I were going to be successful together.
From Gray to Technicolor
Mindy has infinitely changed my life for the better – I don’t have the words to express it. She is more than simply my Certified Hearing Assistance Dog; she is my second half. My life before and after Mindy is a lot like the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. Before Mindy, my world was very sedentary and gray. After Mindy came into my life, it was as though it has exploded in technicolor. Unlike Dorothy, I never want to wake up.
“She is more than simply my Certified Hearing Assistance Dog; she is my second half. My life before and after Mindy is a lot like the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. Before Mindy, my world was very sedentary and gray. After Mindy came into my life, it was as though it has exploded in technicolor”
Mindy has made me so much more aware of the world around me. I look up more and I even hold myself differently when I walk with her. I no longer feel so nervous or oblivious, because all I have to do is look at her body language and the little twitches in her ears to know if there’s something that requires some kind of reaction from me. With Mindy by my side, I have the confidence to go out and enjoy life.
Would you or a loved one benefit from a Hearing Assistance Dog? Learn more about Hearing Assistance Dogs and submit an application at dogsforbetterlives.org/hearing-dogs