Quando un cane d’assistenza ci migliora la vita: le magiche «impronte» di Luce sul cuore di Alba
The appeal: "The assistance dog must have the right to get on public transport, stay in workplaces, in leisure areas, even in the hospital".
When an assistance dog improves our life
Anyone who thinks animals don't have souls has never looked a dog in the eye. In the black ones of Light there are reflections those of his beloved mistress. The sweet Labrador, with her pearl white fur, is a pure retriever. She was trained as an assistance dog for the disabled person. He has just turned 4 and has been living next to Alba for 3 years, a girl who moves very fast on an electronic wheelchair. She entered the life of the Castellamontese psychologist, suffering from muscular dystrophy, at a delicate moment. As in the book "The dog that arrived for Christmas" he was a ray of sunshine, the soul mate who with his inexhaustible energy and contagious smiles illuminated his new family.
The history of Alba
For Alba and her husband Andrea the famous aphorism is valid: "You don't realize how strong the presence of a dog is in a house until, when it's not there, even the walls seem to be in a different place. ". «I've always wanted a dog - says Alba - The choice of the first dog must be really weighted on the abilities of the whole family. It is not easy to adopt the right one. Even though they are much wiser animals than us, even though my partner gives me lessons all the time. It is said that any family dog can undergo training as a service dog. It is partly true, but at least the dimensions limit a lot. Especially if you have to lift weights or carry your wheelchair when you fall. I was orienting myself with my husband on a medium-small size and never, ever I would have thought I could have a large dog. Luck was meeting at that moment but the story was the next commitment ". Their story is a great lesson for everyone. «It is not clear who is assisting whom - adds the young Castellamontese - I feel at his complete service at every moment. In the family I was the most fragile and needy, but now there is a component that depends on me in everything and for everything. I thought I did not have the strength to take care of a living being of about 25 kilos and instead the energies come together with its overwhelming vitality. When she arrived, after living in the trainer's home, she knew a hundred words. Now he knows even more, but we talk to each other with our eyes. It was a long wait, about 8 months. I was in fervent anticipation as if I were pregnant. It was love at first sight, but only the time spent together created the understanding reached now and which improves every day ".
The arrival of Luce in the family .. an unexpected gift!
The family memory album is full of unforgettable "images". “It was supposed to arrive in January three years ago. It had been a while since I no longer felt the Christmas spirit as per family tradition, so when the trainer called me to tell me that Luce would be delivered already in early December because she was sufficiently prepared it was the best gift of mine life - says Alba - She knows how to open doors, take any object from the ground, put paper in the bin, carry a remote control, look for keys, take off a hat, close a drawer, turn on the light or a switch, call for help and much more . Mainly she keeps a lot of company, with her I talked to all kinds of people: she attracts anyone, especially other dog owners. His favorite activity is going out on long walks and maybe diving into the water. Sniff and run with other dogs. She is always smiling, sociable and ready for new adventures. He has infinite patience, every day he teaches me a new thing, for me they are the superior race. She is very courageous, curious and generous, in exchange for food she amazes you in everything. His greatest fear are summer storms and firecrackers, a real drama at this time of the year ".
Alba sends an important message: «I would like to share this story of mine, because maybe other people with disabilities do not know this type of training for dogs. The most famous colleague is the guide dog for the blind, but there are also diabetes alerts, epilepsy, and much more. It is important that it be accepted everywhere, without adding difficulties and obstacles to those who already encounter many. And then I would like to thank those who made all this possible from my heart, because without the help of experienced instructors who do hard work it would never have been possible. In Italy we have good professionals scattered throughout the territory to look for carefully, and on this we have nothing to envy to the rest of the world, if not a law that equates the same rights of guide dogs to those of assistance dogs, and not only as fiscal aid for the onerous maintenance of veterinary expenses and healthy food ».
An appello to the Government
It is an appeal to the current political class: "There would be a European law of 2008 that no Italian government seems to want to implement. Only some regions such as Emilia Romagna have introduced it, once again ahead of the others. The assistance dog must have the right to get on public transport, stay in workplaces, places of recreation, even in the hospital. We do not ask for the moon, only to be able to be together in normal daily life. Entering the pharmacy, the baker, the dentist, the church is often limiting because there are steps where one does not even imagine it. Those added by people hurt even more ».