Almost 10 years ago, I was the very fortunate recipient of PADS Hearing Dog Marshall. Over time, he became more than anyone could want or imagine as a working dog and companion.

Marshall was hard-wired to do his job. He alerted me to all the sounds in my environment that I cannot hear – the smoke detector, timer, telephone, alarm clock and people knocking at the door. With his help I was connected to the world of sound around me. He took his job very seriously and I learned to trust him completely, he was never wrong. He worked 24/7. He gave me confidence. He could, by virtue of his smoke detector alerts, even safe my life.

Ever ambitious and always looking for more work, he did things he was not trained to do. One example stands out for me. Marshall loved to alert me to the stove’s timer so I used it all the time. One night I put my dinner in the pan, turned on the burner and the range hood, and walked away to watch the news, confident as ever that he would summon me when the timer went off. All was usual, except that I had neglected to set the timer!

My dinner didn’t catch fire, and it did not set off the smoke detector. But it had started to smoke. He noticed. He came and alerted me!

When he “alerted”, my role was to ask him “what is it?” When that question was asked, his job was to take me to the source of the sound. In this case, there wasn’t any sound – only a little smoke, but he took me to the kitchen and the smoking pan anyway. What a Wonder Dog! This is only one example of many ways Marshall went he went above and beyond the scope of his job.

Marshall was extraordinarily charming and was an amazing ambassador for PADS. We walked miles a day and in so doing, we met a lot of people. He loved by those we met in my neighbourhood and very much loved by me.

Marshall died last summer. Life will never be the same. I am not a fearful person but I no longer have the confidence that I will know everything I need to know, when I need to know it, about the world around me. With his help, I did.

He was a superlative example of a PADS dog changing a life.


Help Support Teams Like Marcia & Marshall

All PADS assistance dogs are provided to clients at no cost. Behind each and every success story is a donor who makes this possible.

Tell us your PADS story

We are still accepting stories for our 30 Stories for 30 Years series. Whether you have volunteered, received a dog as a client or adopter, given of your time, money or heart… you are part of the PADS story!  Tell us how being involved with PADS has impacted you.