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Dogs are wheelchair users best friend

Dogs are wheelchair users best friend in more than one way it seems. Many time have i heard the story that a wheelchair users dog is a social ice breaker and helps to encourage communication that may not otherwise occur.

We have experienced this too, whereby if we go out with the wheelchair we seem not to attract much in the way of passers by in the park or on a walk. Introduce the dog in to the equation and its a different ball game entirely. Suddenly we become dog owners who happen to need the use of a wheelchair.

Dogs are notably mans best friend and this is just one of the ways we can see why. I read a great article in the mail newspaper about a lady who is wheelchair bound and depends on her trained assistant dog for more and more including unlikely chores about the house, including washing, shopping and even collecting the post.

Formerly a teacher, Mrs Cornwall was left semi paralised following a climbing accident in the 1980's. She has continued to work most of the time since and aims to lead as normal life as is possible. So not content with getting her dog to fetch the post or her slippers she has managed to train basil her Bishon Frise Poodle cross to do much more.

Dog aid is a charity that provides canine help to disabled folk including wheelchair users. They do this by encouraging disabled dog owners to train their own pet dog to assist them with daily tasks. The training usually takes place at the client’s home and in their normal environment; occasionally it may be appropriate for the client to attend classes held by their trainer.

Mrs Cornwall, whose injuries included a collapsed lung, broken bones in her neck and back and a broken spinal cord, is heavily reliant on her wheelchair for much of the day both at home and out and about. She comments:

"Basil inspires confidence in me and gives me a lot of practical help as well as being very loving. Before I got him people would feel uncomfortable speaking to me because of my wheelchair, but now they open up"

Which is something we have heard many times from all users including those with electric wheelchairs. So why not read the article and see if a pooch can feature in your life, there are also some great photos !

'People see me as a dog owner who happens to be in a wheelchair rather than as a disabled person. Basil is delightful and very much a part of our family.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2909607/Basil-Bichon-Frise-helps-wheelchair-bound-owner-washing-collecting-post-doing-shopping.html

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