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Service dog tasks

Started by janetb on 06/17/2018 1:41pm

I am a 77-year old female scheduled for a multi-level spinal fusion due to degenerative disc disease and other stenosis problems. I've had several individual fusions in the past (L4-5, L3-4, L2-3, etc.) but now need rods and screws from about L3 to T9. The doctor has painted a pretty gruesome picture of the surgery and post-op. I have been a Service Dog trainer for more than 25 years and now find myself in need of help from a trained dog. I actually have such a dog (Golden Retriever) but need to know what specific tasks he will need to be able to perform to help me. Obviously, he needs to retrieve dropped items, etc., something he already does well. I would appreciate hearing from some others who have had this type of surgery about things he can do to compensate for not being able to bend or twist. My dog is a very quick learner and eager worker as well as being my "Velcro" dog. My surgery is in 4 weeks but I think I can at least begin to teach him some new behaviors. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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