When I first met Luc, he was called “Flicker,” a name one should only assign to a reindeer. Maybe.
Luc is my service dog. We are easy, close companions, and refine one another through our ever deepening partnership.
I applied for a service dog through Summit Assistance Dogs. 2 years after submitting my application, I received a call requesting me to come in to meet 4 soon-to-graduate service dogs, in the hope that one of them would be a match for my physical needs.
I wanted Luc as soon as I saw him. He was calm, serious, attentive, and handsome. He displayed great patience when walking by my side, and my slow movement and raspy, garbled speech did not phase him.
Summit’s priority is to match the right person to the right dog. I waited for what seemed a very long time (actually only a weekend) before receiving the call telling me Luc was my potential partner. There followed 2 weeks of rigorous training, in which we learned how to work as a team, and reach certainty that we were the right fit for each other.
Luc has rocked my world. He has brought me the finest kind of companionship, and the opportunity to mirror his mastery of being in the moment. Highly skilled, he pulls baskets of dirty clothes to the washer, opens and shuts doors, and is learning to put his toys away. He lies by me when I fall, and lets me lean on him to get up again; pulls off my jacket, shoes, gloves, and brings (and returns) my cell phone to me when it rings. He’s the only one who can stand to be around me when I’m labile. The infrequent times when he’s not with me, I miss him. We’ve become each others shadows.
Before Luc, I felt pretty isolated in public. People avoided me, uncomfortable with my “otherness.” (Perhaps on a visceral level, sensing the biological error in another, we retreat.) But Luc has softened the boundaries, making it easier for people to approach. They smile at seeing us, sensing Luc’s shining benevolence, and knowing that they’re witnessing something good.
I cherish you, Luc.