Teddy Bear — Service

Location: Forest, Virginia

Teddy is my superhero and soulmate! When I first adopted Teddy, it wasn’t because I wanted a service dog. Instead, I adopted him to help me cope with depression and ptsd. I suffer from a torturous autoimmune disease called Systemic Scleroderma that had robbed me of most of my happiness. So I just wanted a companion to encourage me to keep living. When I brought him home, he seemed to immediately bond with me, despite having his own anxiety issues with people. He had only been mine for about a week, before we became inseparable!

Within a few months of adopting Teddy, I noticed something very strange – he would become very anxious and vocal right before I would feel myself losing consciousness. After talking to a dog trainer who believed Teddy had the right temperament and skills, I began training him to be a medical alert dog. Two years later, he’s never missed an episode! He’s even saved my life! Teddy has alerted me to upcoming episodes when I’m behind the wheel, giving me enough time to safely pull over.

Teddy is unconditionally devoted to me, and will stop eating and drinking if he’s separated from me longer than a few hours. Having him around has kept my depression at bay, and given me so much to live for. Teddy is my heart and soul! He will retire at the end of the year, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished! While he needs no recognition to be special in my eyes, he deserves all of the recognition in the world.

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