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It is winter here in Maine! But I’m sure you already knew that from last week’s post, Winter paw care for a service dog!

Wintertime means bundling up when venturing out on cold blustery days. And even on those not-so-blustery days!

When we go out, my mom wears a warm jacket. And if it is extra cold, she wears mittens, too. But mostly, she just wears her jacket. This is because it is easier for her to hold my leash and control her chair without mittens!

Getting her mittens and jacket on and off can be challenging for my mom. Although putting them on seems easier for her than taking them off.

Most often it is just me and my mom going to her appointments. After we arrive and check-in, she needs help getting her jacket off. She has never liked leaving her jacket on when inside!

Do you know who helps her? You guessed correctly… It’s me! Because you know I love my job!

Tugging off my mom’s mitten!

I love tugging off her mittens! She tells me “tug” and I grab hold and pull. To give it to her, I either step up on her foot pedals or just move close to her hand. And then I do the same for the other one. Sometimes I like to keep tugging as I give it to her!

When my mom is ready to take her jacket off, she needs even more help. First, she tells me “zip” which lets me know to grab the zipper pull and tug downward until it is all the way unzipped.

A cute dog bone my mom made for the pull on her zipper!

Then she tells me “tug” as she holds out her left sleeve. I pull on the sleeve while my mom gets her arm out. And then we do it again on the right side. 

Most often, my mom likes to keep her jacket with her when we are at her appointments. She is always cold, so it helps to keep her warmer. She keeps it draped around her back and shoulders.

But when we are home, she wants her jacket off. So after I help her tug the right sleeve off I keep tugging. This way I can pull her jacket off and hand it to her so it can be hung up in the closet.

Unzipping the zipper!

I have a nice warm fur coat, so I don’t need a jacket. But, as you know from last week’s post, sometimes my mom has me wear boots. Or use Musher’s Secret to protect my paws from the potential harm of the rock salt or other chemicals.

Since my mom gets cold easily she wears a jacket in the spring and fall, too. These jackets are lighter in weight than her winter jackets. 

But she still needs just as much help with getting them off. So unzipping her zipper and tugging off her sleeves happens nearly all year long!

Tugging my mom’s jacket sleeve!

My mom also likes to wear sweatshirts. She prefers the pullover ones because they are more comfortable and warmer for her than those with zippers. But harder for her to get off.

In the winter, she usually leaves her sweatshirt on all day long. Since it is colder, she seldom needs to get it off before the end of the day.

But during the other times of the year, she might need her sweatshirt for just part of the day. Because it can be hard for her to get it off, she most often chose something else to wear.

But she prefers a sweatshirt. So she thought more about it and was sure I could help! And of course, I could. She taught me to get it off if needed. 

Like with the jacket, I tug her left sleeve first. This is because she has more use of this arm. Which makes it easier to have it free when getting her right arm out. 

After I’ve tugged both sleeves and her arms are free, I can tug the sweatshirt off over my mom’s head. She tips her head forward and lifts the back of the sweatshirt neck a little bit. I grab it and pull it right over her head. And just like that, it is off!

I love my job. It makes me happy to know that I give my mom lots of independence!

A short video of me helping my mom with her mittens and jacket!