Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
by Antonio Prokup
Sammie, My Security Blanket
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By Antonio Prokup
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Sept. 5, 2013 12:01 a.m.

I have had two weeks with my service dog, Sammie. She is a beautiful, full-blooded black lab. She is not quite a year old, but not as active as you might think. Sammie plays hard in the house with our other little dogs, Eddie and Blondie, but when the service vest is on, she immediately becomes calm and all business. My mom holds the leash attached to her collar, and I hold the leash attached to the vest.
On the second day Sammie was with us, we put both her and I to the test. My mom had planned a huge day. So, with Dominica along also, we went to eat at our cafe in the pharmacy. Sammie was very good and sat under the table. She impressed us so much. But the best was yet to come. After going to our church to complete our weekly duties, we went to Orschlen's and Walmart. I know my mom was nervous and anxious not knowing what to expect, and so was I. Somehow holding on to the leash gave me a sense of comfort I have never felt in a public building. We shopped in both places for maybe 30 minutes each, and Sammie and I performed to perfection. Normally I would need to hold on to a cart and when stopping I would sit on the floor. I did not ever feel the need to move or bolt away. It was an amazing feeling.
At home, Sammie has little freedom. We want to allow her time to trust us so we can trust her. We have a cage in my room, and Sammie sleeps in my room every night. It is fun to have a companion with me all the time. Sparky, my outdoor yellow lab, is being quite protective of me, but I hope the two dogs will get along in the future. Maybe I will have Sammie as my indoor companion and Sparky as my outdoor companion.
Sammie has changed my life so much already ---- going to classes with me at school and walking through a crowded hallway with the school bell ringing. I can only wait with excitement for the new activities and adventures yet to come. Sammie allows me to blend a little better into society, although she is so adorable everyone aches to pet her. However, please don't. When she has her service vest on, she is working. So, therefore, if you want to play with her, come to my house. We are the house with now five dogs, 16 cows, and a three-legged cat.

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