Meet Rose and Hearing Dog Elphie
Why I chose to apply for a dog from an ADI Accredited Program
My first dog came to live with me in 1989. My hearing loss occurred in 1981 because of a fifteen-and-a-half-hour surgery to remove a brain tumour. My life changed overnight. When Cleo, the love of my life, was placed with me by Pacific Assistance Dog Society, it felt like I came back. Cleo gave me a sense of safety and confidence, helping me to believe that I could do life again. Twelve years later I held her in my arms when the veterinarian gave her the injection; she looked up at me with trust in her eyes as I cradled her in my arms. Our eye locked in love. She died because of a brain tumour. We were a match made in heaven.
Seventeen years passed; I couldn’t talk about Cleo, I missed her so much that I couldn’t even look at other dogs. Finally, the time came after I had two bouts of an ear infection causing me to be profoundly deaf; I applied to PADS for my second dog.
Elphie was placed with me in 2018. I had moved into an apartment with an owner/manager who didn’t think it was necessary to abide by the law regarding certified and accredited dogs. This led to letters being pushed under my door, stating that I had to enter the building from the underground parking lot. I could not drive onto the property without a note from my doctor. I could not go into any common areas in the building. I attempted to educate and appease them; however, this led nowhere.
The harassment and discrimination escalated until I was yelled at, with finger-pointing and waving, and told, “You go back out that front door and come back in the door you were told to use.” I replied, “These dogs have legal access.” His screaming continued. I refused to go back out the front door. He finally said, “Fine, if you are not going to leave, get in the elevator and get out of here, and I’m going to report you.” I replied, “Fine, because I’m going to report you.” Although calm on the outside, I was shaking inside. I got on the elevator, went straight up to my apartment, threw my coat on the floor, and started to cry. In the midst of my tears, I called PADS.
The Executive Director answered. Laura calmed me, and with her help, we filed a report. The Solicitor General’s office made a visit, a warning was issued. The harassment stopped. The excellent support and high quality of professionalism shown at PADS is due to the accreditation with ADI. I know without a doubt the outcome of my tenancy would have been irreparable if I had not had the high standards of PADS and ADI to rely on.
It pleases me when I’m asked by restaurants or other public places if they can see Elphie’s certificate of accreditation. I always say, “Thank you for asking”. It is an opportunity to educate them that this is not just an emotional support dog claiming to be certified.
Thank you for the opportunity to share the pure gift of my hearing dogs that “Change lives, one dog at a time”.
Cleo and I were a match made in heaven; Elphie and I are a match made by heaven. She is my companion, helper, and love, especially over the past sixteen months with COVID isolation and aloneness.
PADS Hearing Dog Client