Remember how I discussed all of the work dogs that I’d love to interview? Well, I got my wish! Meet service dog Lucy! She’s very special, as she’s trained as an Autism service dog. Now she lives with her forever family in Rhode Island like I do. I’m so grateful that Lucy’s mom Brandy allowed her to be interviewed. You see, Lucy doesn’t use social media because she’s so busy with her young family, so there’s a chance she may have never even noticed that I was looking for someone just like her. I hope you’re prepared for a special pup, because Lucy will deliver!
Napa: What breed are you?
Lucy: Yellow Lab
Napa: Tell me more about how you became an Autism service dog.
Lucy: I was bred by Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I was born to be a service dog, but I was a little more laid back than those alpha seeing eye dogs, so I found a home at NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services), and my training as an Autism Service Dog began.
Napa: What was training like?
Lucy: My training was very special. I was trained in a prison. An inmate there loved me and trained me so I would be one day ready to help my new family. I think I helped him while he was helping me, or at least, I hope so.
Napa: What is a typical day like in your home?
Lucy: At home, I am just a pet. My family loves me and lets me cuddle with them, since cuddling is my favorite! But when my boy has an appointment or when our mom thinks it’s time to get us out of the house, I put on my leash and my vest (my work clothes) and it’s all business. I know it’s very important to listen to my mom when we are in public. She is trained to keep me safe while I help our boy.
Napa: Who do you spend the most time with, and why?
Lucy: My boy is my best friend. I spend a lot of time with him, and I sleep in his room. My job is to be his buddy and keep him safe in public. When he is at school, I spend time with our Grammy and Grampy. They love the company, and I love them too.
Napa: When you get bored, how do you keep busy?
Lucy: I cuddle with my family and play with my toys.
Napa: What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten (even if you weren’t supposed to)?
Lucy: I like finding crumbs on the floor, but I am on a very strict diet and my mom does her best to make sure I don’t get any. We have to keep my weight down or I could have trouble taking care of our boy. Sometimes my mom lets me have an apple or baby carrots, and I love it.
Napa: Where are you from?What’s your favorite trait about the area you live in?
Lucy: I am from Northern, Mass., but now live in Rhode Island. It’s very pretty here.
Napa: If you could tell your humans anything, what would it be?
Lucy: I love them very much, and I am happy to be able to help my boy.
Napa: Can you share any advice for other working dogs?
Lucy: Always listen to your human(s). While we were given to them to help them, they are trained to take special care of us. They know our dietary needs, how to keep us safe, and help us exercise to stay strong.
Napa: What would you like humans everywhere to know about being an Autism service dog, or any service dogs?
Lucy: We are very special, but you shouldn’t be afraid of us. We are allowed to be in public by law, but are trained to behave. If you see a dog who is listed as a service dog but is not behaving in public, please do not blame the rest of us. Some people want to keep their animals with them, and I don’t blame them, but true service animals always behave in public. It’s our job and we are good at it.
Napa: How did you find your way to your family?
Lucy: My mom applied for a service dog through NEADS for our boy. While she was excited that there was an organization that provides dogs to autistic children, she knew that my training was very expensive. She needed to raise $10,000!!! She found a great organization, and Abbie at the Lion’s Club helped. Once that was set, mom went through training and then I got to meet her and our boy. I’m so glad mom worked hard to bring me home, because I love our family.
Are you a working dog? Is your co-worker a canine? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch via email or leave a note in the comments section below!
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