Pudge, Riverside, CA

Hi! My name is Pudge and I am a lab/pitbull mix. I am proud to say I am a service dog for my mom and this is my story.

My mom brought me home at 8 weeks old — at least that is what she was told, but she thinks I was younger because I was smaller then most 8 week puppies of my breed. I was one of those parking lot dogs. Some people were giving away my sisters and I — there were 5 of us — but my mom fell in love with me.

I was a regular house dog until my mom realized my potential when I was 8 months old. You see, my mom has a disability called RSD/CRPS — that’s short for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome — which also brought on Dystonia and anxiety attacks.

In short, RSD/CRPS is classified as extreme pain 24/7 — if you want to know more don’t hesitate to look it up. Her disability has limited her mobility, and it also is hard for her to do certain things and that’s where I come into help.

My mom started training me at 8 months old and I am now 3 years old (my birthday was January 7th). I am constantly learning new things.

So you’re probably wondering what I do as does everyone that I meet. So here you go:

I help my mom when she drops things because it’s hard for her to pick things up. I also carry or drag objects that she can’t as well as bring her things such as her purse, shoes, etc.

I know “brace,” which allows me to help her off the floor by standing and letting her use me to help her get up. I also help when we are out; when her really bad leg that has Dystonia in it starts to hurt really bad, she can take some weight off it and shift some of her weight to me.

I also create a barrier between her and people. My mom’s pain disorder makes even the slightest touch causes her a lot of pain; even a piece of hair feels like she is being stabbed! I couldn’t even imagine if I wasn’t there what it would feel like for someone to bump into her.

I know how to find grandma (her mom) when we are out and get separated and I help with doing laundry and getting clothes out of the washer and dryer.

One of my biggest jobs is to stay with her if she passes out as well as try and get her up. I also stay with her during anxiety attacks as well as get her out of places when she is having one, etc.

I am still working on learning to pull her wheelchair but it’s not really easy to learn so for now, when she uses her wheelchair someone has to push her.

Being half pitbull and being a service dog hasn’t been the easiest because we run into a lot of people who stereotype and tell my mom that she shouldn’t have me out in public because of my breed! On the other hand, we have the people who think it’s awesome that I am a service dog.

We try to educate the people who assume all pits are mean when really we are the opposite and are just big wiggle butts.

I may be a service dog but I do have my down time at home. You can normally catch me sunbathing, sucking on blankets or playing with my younger sister, the cattle dog.

I also love to snuggle and help my grandpa on his computer. 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Pitbull kisses and tail wags,

Parent: Gabi