Last week I told you how I help my mom with the front door and gate. This is usually done when we leave home by ourselves. But I even get to do it most of the time when we go places with my dad or friends. Since they know how much I love doing my job!
In my post, I also mentioned that I could get help for my mom when we are out by ourselves. One of my adoring fans was curious about how I did this. And thought it would be a good blog post topic. I thought so, too!
Like I said last week, my mom and I are never really alone. Even though we head out on our own together. This is because we need some type of transportation. Either someone driving our van or Paratransit.
And everywhere we go, there is always someone nearby who could help my mom if needed. But those who are nearby are not always right there with us. So it might be hard for my mom to get their attention. Or let them know she needs help.
My mom has a soft voice that isn’t very loud. And if she were having trouble with her vent, she wouldn’t even be able to talk. So what would she do?
I’m sure you know by now that I am the one who could get my mom that help. But how? Did you guess? That’s right! I could speak. Unlike my mom, my voice isn’t soft. And it is loud. So I surely would be heard!
In many of my posts, I’ve talked about service dog behavior. And the proper ways a service dog should behave in public. I’ve often told you that I should be quiet. And never be loud or unruly.
Because of my training and my mom’s expectations for my behavior, I never bark in public. So if I were to bark, it would be very much out of the ordinary for me. And it definitely would attract attention. Which would be needed in an emergency.
Whether we are going from one building to another, or in an exam room or infusion suite by ourselves, I can get help for my mom if needed.
But what if she were having trouble with her vent and couldn’t talk? She wouldn’t be able to tell me to speak. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that my mom thought of this. And taught me to speak when she uses a hand signal.
Even if I were napping my mom could get my attention!
And what would happen if I were taking a nap and didn’t see the hand signal to speak? My mom has a solution for that, too. On her phone, she has an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) app. In the app, she has a section with my cues. And one is “speak” just in case it is needed. If you want to learn more, check out my post… Using AAC with a service dog!
So when we venture out on our own, my mom feels safe. She knows that I am here to help with her regular needs. Things like opening doors, picking up things she drops, pushing elevator and automatic door buttons, and helping with her jacket.
But she also feels safe because she knows there is always someone nearby who could help. And in an emergency, I could get their attention if my mom couldn’t. Which gives her peace of mind.