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When a Pet Becomes a Service Dog

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When I was 21, I ended up getting a rescue puppy. Not long after we got this big-headed puppy (who we named Jagerbomb), I found out I was pregnant with my son. When my son “Monkey” was born he had some GI issues which resulted in him projectile vomiting every feeding. Every time Monkey got sick, Jager was right there trying to comfort him while I cleaned him up.

One night, when Monkey was around a year old, Jager showed us he was there to protect and help our son. Monkey was asleep on his bedroom and Jager was roaming the house. All of a sudden, I heard him trying to open my bedroom door with his big dinosaur head. Before I was able to get the door open, I heard him take off into my  son’s room and start barking at the monitor. I got in there and Monkey was wheezing and his lips were discolored. I grabbed him, got him in the car and made it to the hospital in under five minutes. Yet again, my son was in respiratory distress.

After that, we noticed Jager was glued to Monkey. Anything Monkey wanted to do, Jager was willing to do. When he would have a meltdown, Jager was next to him. Bedtime? Jager walked him to his room and stayed until Monkey was asleep.

Over the five and a half years we had Jager after Monkey (and his little sister, Buggy) were born, they were inseparable. Jager knew my son’s every need before I could respond. Until one day, we woke up and Jager had gotten very sick during the night. He ended up passing away while Monkey was on a weekend trip with his dad.

Every so often, Monkey will ask me when he will see Jagerbomb again. He will say “Hi” to the wooden urn we keep his ashes in by the couch and look at pictures of him and Jager. When we initially got Jagerbomb, we never intended for him to be a service dog. Apparently, it was the job he was meant to do.

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Thinkstock image by Tatyana Tomasickova.

Originally published: June 21, 2017
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