I subscribe to a blog called Fear-Less. It’s about taking charge of your life … moving through fear to the truth … which is never words and is always the feeling. Fear-less means having less fear, but FEARLESS … well that means intrepid, brave, daring and courageous. All synonyms for people living with an invisible disability—every second of every day. IDA, the Invisible Disabilities Association, has a new motto: Invisible No More. And, to do that … to be that, you have to be FEARLESS.
One way to be invisible no more is to show up to life every day with a service dog at your side. These highly trained dogs step into the darkness and help individuals – and their families – cope every day with pain and fear and rise above it. These folks begin to have hope. To believe that today, just for today, it’s going to be OK. And, Hope is Good!
Not only does a service dog offer hope, peace of mind and help with the fear and pain – they are a beacon that allows the public to understand that sometimes what they can’t see is really the truth. Heads turn when a service dog and his handler walk into a room, and just by being present they help raise awareness about invisible disabilities. It’s not uncommon to hear whispers of “why does that person need a service dog, they look OK”, or “they’re certainly not blind or in a wheelchair, why do they need a dog?”
At Guardian Angel Service Dogs, not only do we provide hope for people fearlessly coping with invisible disabilities, we are raising awareness about the myriad of ways that service dogs can help people who “look good”.
In this season of giving and gratitude, I’m grateful that there are people who make profound changes in the world around them by fearlessly navigating their life with a service dog by their side.
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UPDATE on Author: Sue Kindred has resigned from her position with Guardian Angel Service Dogs.