Rescue and I settled on the floor at JC Penney this afternoon to watch humans float down from the ceiling. That's what a person descending an escalator looks like to a dog -- kind of like Glinda the good witch, but without the bubble (or crown and wand, in most cases). So, whenever I'm with a dog and we spot an escalator, I pause for some de-freaking out.
Today, the woman we were watching was two-thirds of the way down when she smiled at Rescue and called out, "Hey! I know you. You're a NEADS dog!" She stepped off the escalator to say hello. I love running into people who are familiar with the program. It's like meeting someone who graduated from the same school or grew up in your hometown. It's an instant bond.
She asked about Rescue then revealed that three and a half years ago, her daughter, then a high schooler, was matched with a black Lab from NEADS. They felt a service dog would help her daughter cope with the physical and emotional challenges of an autoimmune disease that attacks her connective tissue. The girl used a wheelchair, but soon after her service dog, Curran came into her life, she began to walk with Curran's support. She's 21 now and lives on her own. Well, not really on her own. She has Curran.