THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. If you read my earlier post, you know that we are truly hopeful that Leni will be a big piece of the puzzle in terms of getting better control over my unpredictable symptoms. However, we cannot get her to that point without help from you as our friends and family.
Here's what you can do:
I know, I'm asking a lot =P
But here's why:
When Leni and I are out in public, she is "on duty." She is not a pet but a working dog. According to the ADA, a service dog is considered medical equipment the same as a wheelchair or cane would be. I am allowed to take her with me because she is able to perform tasks for me that I am unable to do for myself. The main one that we are relying on her for is her ability to alert me to changes in my body so I am able to treat before I develop symptoms and avoid severe reactions. This means that when we are out, her focus needs to be on me.
I know it will be tempting to want to pet her and talk to her when you see us at church or school or in stores. PLEASE resist that temptation (please still come say "hi" to me, just don't focus on Leni). While she is very well trained and knows what her job is, she is not a robot. If she is distracted by petting and wanting to play (because she really is very friendly!) she is not able to do her job and could miss alerting me to an oncoming reaction. Please respect that and treat her like you would any other piece of medical equipment.
That being said, Leni is still a dog. When we get home and she is "off duty,"she is able to act like the 1.5 year old dog that she is. If you would like to meet her and play with her, let me or Nick know! We would love to have you over to hang out and meet the newest member of our family! Leni would LOVE to meet you (and Bonk would be super excited to see you too!).
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please know that we do not want to be mean or rude, but we do need Leni's focus on me when we are out and about. There may be times when it is okay for a quick pet or greeting, but unless you ask us first and we okay it, please assume that Leni is working and needs to keep her focus on me.
Thank you for your support with this!