Regaining Independence by Welcoming Help

a man in a motorized wheelchair with a yellow lab service dog sitting beside himAsking for help didn’t come naturally to Chet. His parents raised him to be independent, relying solely on his own abilities to navigate through life, using his feet. When he dropped his phone and keys, he used to climb down from his wheelchair to get them, but, then, came Miles, his faithful service dog.   

Miles has transformed his entire existence, offering a level of assistance that words can’t adequately describe. Miles is right by Chet’s side, eagerly ready to retrieve dropped items, close doors and provide support when Chet faces anxiety in public. His presence has also shifted focus away from Chet’s disability; instead, allowing Chet to connect with others about Miles’ remarkable skills. 

“On one of our first public outings, I suddenly realized that no one was staring at me, they were staring at Miles. Instead of asking uncomfortable questions about my disability, they asked, ‘What’s your dog’s name?’ The first time I left the grocery store with Miles, I had the greatest feeling, much like a weight had been lifted from me,” he shares. 

Chet says he has Canine Companions to thank for regaining his independence. And, as for everyone who told him that a service dog would change his life, he says, “They were right.”