Service Dog, Oliver & Quadriplegic Owner Share Unbreakable Friendship & Partnership!
PROTECTING THE PROTECTOR
Spinal Cord Injury Survivor Ryan DeRoche Shares His Incredible Bond with His Service Dog, Oliver
and How Responsible Care is Vital to the Success of Service Dog Teams
While it might seem to be an easy trick to get a service dog, it’s quite the opposite. Your doctor has to write up a recommendation and provide details on what specifically you need. It’s no slam dunk on the dog’s end or the patient either. The patient and dog will become closer than a married couple and life shifts a little (ok.. a LOT) since the dog does a lot and goes everywhere with their owner.. because they are limited in their capacity to live the everyday life that most of us have.
This piece and this video is about one specific US citizen who was in Europe on an assignment for his employer. He was riding a bike back and forth and had an accident that led to serious damage of the cervical section of his spine. The consequences included huge surgeries and lots of time horizontal. Life as Ryan knew it halted and his world turned topsy turvy much like his body did when his bike hit something in the rode and he somersaulted over his bicycle handlebars and landed on his neck. The details of Ryan DeRoche’s injury and life since then can be found on his blog: http://www.ryanderoche.com/blog. It’s really an incredible journey/story that isn’t over yet. But that journey has gotten a lot better since he has Oliver!
Ryan DeRoche and Oliver in the photo!
Oliver is a loyal black lab service dog that has become part of the support system Ryan DeRoche depends on every day. Ryan was injured during a mountain bike accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury, which left him a quadriplegic. Oliver is specially trained to help Ryan be independent – assisting him with daily tasks like opening and closing doors, getting things in hard-to-reach places, and has become Ryan’s sidekick on new adventures, both indoor and out. He also has a way of knowing if Ryan is sad, angry or frustrated, and knows exactly how to cheer up his human buddy, with attention, kisses and his “I love you look.”
Service dogs like Oliver provide essential support to their human partners. It’s critical they maintain their peak performance for the safety and well-being of the team; a distraction or lapse in focus due to pests or feeling ill could have dangerous consequences. With service dogs accompanying their partners in all kinds of environments, staying healthy – and protected from fleas and ticks—is vital to the team.
The nonprofit NEADS trains and provides world-class service dogs for those who require everyday assistance, and the health of their dogs is as important as the stringent training the dogs receive. Year-round protection from fleas, ticks and the diseases they can carry, is part of keeping their dogs healthy and serves as an example for all pet parents. A recent survey showed despite the dangers of flea infestations, such as ticks, and Lyme disease, many pet parents may not be as knowledgeable or as prepared as they may think.
Also in attendance is Dr. Mark Pelham, DVM, to offer advice on protecting pets from potential encounters with fleas and ticks to keep them at peak performance. Dr. Pelham has served in the US Army as a major in the Veterinary Corps and knows first-hand the importance of keeping working dogs healthy and protected.
Thanks to Ryan DeRoche and Dr. Pelham for their participation in this interview.
Disclosure: I was unable to participate LIVE in this interview so the company handling this campaign and the video production got someone to ask questions for this interview.
Thanks to Firstline Media for their assistance!
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