The Mobility Team of Fern and PADS Compass are doing wonderfully together and sent us this update:

“In March this year, a pretty yellow Labrador arrived to fill my home with one part chaos and two parts joy. We connected immediately, much faster than I anticipated. She needed no convincing that I was her person. The exuberance PADS Compass brings to everything has lifted my spirit. That became glaringly obvious the first time she helped me do laundry. She jumped straight into the machine to get an article of clothing rather than standing on her hind legs! The laughter she evokes, with that level of enthusiasm, hasn’t stopped!

I have a neuropathic condition, which means my body is stuck in a perpetual loop of fight/flight/freeze. Manifesting mainly in extreme pain & high sensitivities. I feel as fragile as a snowflake. It’s limiting in so many ways – loss of mobility, career and a social life, to name a few. Using a wheelchair also contributes to the challenges. After my first PADS service dog retired last spring, it took very little time for my world to shrink again. After doing all the necessary things each day, I had little energy for anything else. Venturing out to buy groceries felt daunting and dangerous when I was unaccompanied. Potential hazards such as wayward shopping carts, collisions with people not paying attention and my own physical challenges reaching items.

With Compass by my side, I am visible again! People rarely bump into me now. Also, they seem happy to watch Compass work and engage in conversations about her. Nice that the conversations are about her rather than ‘what is wrong’ with me. Compass eagerly helps with many things, such as opening & closing doors, retrieving & carrying items, compression & snuggles, and that’s just the beginning.

I am immensely grateful to everyone who contributes in big and small ways to get these dogs from puppy to working placement and beyond. I can truly say the PADS motto is real. They really are changing lives- one dog at a time. It is thanks to the PADS family and community that I have joy again. Watch for us – we will be the pair towing the sunshine after a storm!”

Thank you. Fern & PADS Compass