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I am going to tell you about a couple of the ways I light up a room. First I will tell you about the less obvious way.

Have you ever seen a service dog when you have been out in public? Or thought about the way a service dog helps their partner? For many people, these encounters or thoughts bring a smile and a warm feeling of admiration. 

When my mom and I enter a room, like a waiting room at her doctor’s office, people smile. And the atmosphere of the room brightens! It is as if our presence lights up the room.

The same is true when we encounter people when we are out and about in our community Like at the grocery store, bookstore, or a restaurant.  

Waiting patiently with my mom for her appointment!

People like to see how well behaved I am. And sometimes smile because my mom asks me to do cute things like sit up pretty or wave. And every once in a while I do silly things like roll onto my back. But, if you ask me, I think they smile because I am so handsome! 

Waiting patiently and being a bit silly!

There is another way that I can light up a room. It is the actual task of turning the lights on. And I can even turn them off.

This is a task that I only need to perform in one place. But nonetheless, it is a very helpful task for my mom.

Most of the light switches in our house are either in easy spots for my mom to reach. Or in spots where I can’t easily get to them and neither can my mom. So my dad gets to do those hard to reach switches! 

But there is one light switch that is both hard for my mom and easy for me! It is in the bathroom. My mom can reach it with effort but overall it isn’t very easy for her. And not very convenient. 

Remember how my mom has limited use of her right hand and arm? Due to this, she can’t lift her right arm up high enough to reach the light switch.

So instead, if she is the one turning the light on, she has to go into the bathroom and turn her chair around, as if she is leaving the bathroom. This puts her left arm on the side where the lightswitch is so she can reach it.

Whew… that means a lot of maneuvering for my mom just to get the light turned on. So instead, as she goes into the bathroom she tells me “light” and I pop up. And use my nose to push the switch up. Just like that the light is on! 

I usually put my paw on the wall for balance. But for that top photo, I kept my paw down a couple of times because my mom wanted to show my nose on the switch. I like to help her in any way possible!

When leaving the bathroom my mom’s left arm is on the same side as the switch. So she could easily flip it off. But she knows how much I like to help. And by me helping it conserves her energy so she can do more fun things with me! 

So as we are leaving the bathroom she tells me “switch” and I again pop up and push the switch with my nose. But this time I flip it down to turn it off!

I want to share with you our fun bedtime routine. Or at least it is fun for me! My mom can’t self-transfer or get out of her wheelchair on her own. So my dad has to lift her and move her to where she needs to be.

At night he puts her on the toilet and then into bed. When she is ready she has me flush the toilet. I will have to tell you about that task another time!. After flushing she tells me “switch” and I rush to turn the light off.

Do you know why I might be hurrying to complete this task? After my dad gets my mom into bed my sisters and I get a bedtime snack. Don’t tell my mom… but the best part of our nightly routine is my cookie! I love helping her but a snack is pretty awesome, too!

Our bedtime cookies!

So whether I am turning the bathroom light on. Or brightening up a room with my presence. I am helping give independence to my mom and warming the hearts of many. I love my job and the many ways that I can make a difference!