|<< previous article||next article >>|
Originally posted by itv.com on October 18, 2017
It’s said that a man’s best friend is his dog, but one teenager and her pet Springer Spaniel have developed a remarkable relationship.
Chloe Fuller, 19, has trained her faithful assistance dog Ted to become her canine carer – getting her undressed and even loading the washing machine.
For Chloe, of Haslingden, Lancashire, the process of training up her own dog has been life-changing, having been forced to leave school for home education aged 13 after developing Postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a rare heart condition, and Ehlers Danlos which affects her joints.
Three-year-old Ted now responds to more than 100 commands corresponding to vital tasks Chloe would struggle to do alone, including fetching her shoes and phone, and even removing her socks with his teeth. The animal lover has been a wheelchair user for three years.
She decided she needed a new challenge and became involved with Dog Assistance In Disability (Dog AID), a not-for-profit organisation that helps people with physical disabilities train their own pets to become qualified assistance dogs.
Chloe said: “I had no idea what to do with myself so the idea I could train my own dog and get a skill at something really appealed to me, and we have succeeded beyond my own and others’ expectations.
“The fact that there is this little creature that is so over joyed having to do anything he can for you takes the sting out of having to ask.
“It makes it less depressing, he takes your socks off ever so gingerly with his teeth – you can’t not smile when you’ve got a dog doing that. I almost say it in a bit of a blasé way, I really wish I could remember it’s not as normal for everybody else for a dog to get you undressed.”
The former Haslingden High pupil added: “The only thing mum has to do now is make meals and drinks, I haven’t quite figured out how to get Ted to make a cup of tea yet!”
Categorized in: Ehlers-Danlos in the News