My name is Gina Mosley and I would like to nominate my Service Dog, G.G., for the AKC Award for Canine Excellence. I received G.G. on November 4, 2003 and my life has not been the same since!
At birth I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which is a neurological disorder that affects my motor skills, ability to balance, and speech. My main mode of mobility is an electric wheelchair and performing everyday tasks is challenging.
I have always tried to be independent, but did not reach the full capacity of my independence until G.G. pawed into my life. In the past, when I dropped something, I would have to leave it on the ground until someone came. Now when I drop an object, G.G. retrieves it for me and places it in my lap and I no longer have to depend on some else to get it.
G.G. also helps me with transferring and balance, which has allowed me to be able to go to the bathroom and get in bed myself. If I do fall and need help during transfers, G.G. will ring a bell in my room which signals my family that I need help. Also opening and closing doors proved to be very challenging, but not anymore. Instead of being stuck in my bedroom all day, I am now able to roll out into the rest of the house and even outside because G.G. can open and close the doors for me. G.G. also helped give me the ability to dress and undress myself. She helps me get clothes out of my closet (I usually drop what I’m trying to get) by picking up my clothes and placing them in my lap so I can put them on. G.G. makes getting undressed a lot easier by tugging my sweaters, pants, and socks off.
For the first time in my life, I can get dressed and undressed without my parents’ or siblings’ help. G.G. has not only provided me with more independence, but has given me so much love and has helped increase my self-confidence. She gives me a reason to get up in the morning and helps make the days go faster and not seem as lonely.
Going into public is also much more enjoyable with my Service Dog. Many people are afraid of what is different and I am different. When I would go out in public or to a party, people or children would just stare at me and no one would talk to me. The people who did want to know something about me would talk to the person I was with and not to me. This made me very conscious of how different I was and I became very shy and uncomfortable around others. When I have G.G. in public with me, people and children will come up to me, ask questions, and converse with me. She provides that commonality between other people and me because usually everyone has had a dog sometime in their lives. G.G. is not just my service dog, but she’s my best friend and has opened up a whole new world for me.