My (Basically) Service Dog

My terrier mix Winnie

My terrier mix Winnie.

You all know what a therapy dog is, right? It’s the golden retriever who acts as eyes for its blind owner. It’s the Corgi who alerts others of its owner’s seizure. Or in my case it’s the terrier mix who offers emotional support, as well as alerting my parents when I need help.

I found my dog Winnie at an adoption event in town. We originally went to get a dog my mother and brother had seen earlier, but when she had already been adopted I started looking around. I’d love to say my eye went right to her and I knew, but that’s not the case. I first saw another dog who looked calm, but when I approached proved to be too hyper for our household. When I turned away, I saw her. She had a long dirty, but beautiful, white blonde coat and was curled up while the other dogs were barking at whoever passed by.

I asked the woman working if I could see her, so she opened up the cage. Winnie immediately hid behind the cage door and wouldn’t come to the woman. I asked her if I could give it a try so I walked in, went down on one knee and opened my arms; she crawled right into them. The minute she was in my arms I knew we were meant to be together. I showed her to my family, and my parents went off to discuss getting another dog privately. At that time one of my brothers was really upset that the other dog had been adopted and was crying. Winnie got down from my arms, went to him, and started to kiss his tears away. My parents couldn’t say no after that.

Me and Winnie when she had to have a cone on for a few days.

Me and Winnie when she had to have a cone on for a few days.

After a few days at our house, it became clear Winnie was extremely ill. The vet said two more days and she would have died; more proof that it was meant to be. After that she turned into the hyper dog my parents wanted to avoid, but she was so passive and loving no one could muster up any negative emotion toward her.

From the very first night though, she was by my side.

If I was crying from pain, she was licking my tears away. If I was throwing up in the bathroom (also from pain), she was licking my legs and laying by my side. If I fell asleep by the toilet, or was crying too hard, she would run up to my parents room and bark until one of them had to come see what was the matter.

Winnie is constantly there for me, no matter what. In fact, as I’m writing this she’s curled up next to me.

Winnie is a very happy, and spoiled, girl

Winnie is a very happy, and spoiled, girl.

This past year would have been a lot harder without my savior of a dog. I am so glad I found her. I may have saved her from dying, but she saved me from spending another year and a half of painful nights alone. I’ll forever be grateful to this loving little dog.

Do you have a pet that is special to you? Do your pets know when you are crying too? Let me know by leaving a comment.

10 comments on My (Basically) Service Dog

  1. Chris
    November 29, 2014 at 5:42 pm (4 years ago)

    She sounds like a great companion & and such a cutie…x

    • jaelinpalmer
      November 30, 2014 at 8:56 am (4 years ago)

      She really is a great dog, and I think she’s pretty cute. 😉 Your dogs are adorable too.

      I really enjoy your blog! It may not be in the same way, but I truly understand what it’s like to be housebound with chronic pain. It sucks. Majorly. I’ll definitely be a loyal reader from now on.

      • Chris
        November 30, 2014 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

        She sure is cute & thank you he’s amazing…x

        • Chris
          November 30, 2014 at 11:26 am (4 years ago)

          And thank you for what you say about my blog. It really does such being house-bound doesn’t it, no matter what the reason… I too will be a loyal reader to you…x

          • Chris
            November 30, 2014 at 11:28 am (4 years ago)


          • jaelinpalmer
            November 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm (4 years ago)

            Being housebound is one thing, but adding chronic pain on top of that is truly horrible. My grandfather only has one leg from an accident he had 30 some years ago and he has chronic pain too. I am lucky enough to have a family member who understands and I think my journey could have been a lot different had I not. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. 🙂

  2. Ro Irvine
    December 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm (4 years ago)

    I hate to correct you but a therapy dog and a service dog are 2 drastically different things. Therapy dogs are basically “feel good” dogs. They are trained in very good obedience and are used at hospitals, nursing homes, and recently at colleges and universities. Their job is to calm people and to help relieve stress. Service dogs on the other hand are taught how to assist their handler with different tasks or to alert the handler of different situations like low blood sugar or an impending seizure. I use a service dog. I have MS and Pru is there to make me more stable and to help me up if I do fall.

    • jaelinpalmer
      December 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for letting me know! I can see how the distinction is important. I’m glad you have such a great companion and I hope you are doing well. I love the name, by the way. I had a dog named Rue, so it reminds me of her. Thank you again for education me on the topic. You learn something new everyday!


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