My service dog is the best thing that has ever happened to me

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By Allie Bradley '20

Felix has been an amazing service dog for the past two years that I have had him. He has helped me in so many ways, and he is even the reason why I can go away to Penn State for college. However, the reason I have written this speech is not to praise him. Yes, he is great, but he gets told that far too often by random strangers in the middle of Walmart or Target. Today, I will be roasting Felix.
First off, he is so excited to work all the time. I don’t know about anyone else, but everyone I know usually isn’t that excited to go to work. Felix, however, is super excited to work. Every time I bring out his vest, his tail starts wagging faster than light speed, not to mention, his tail is like a whip. As soon as it starts going, everyone better run. He’s like a bull in a china shop. Also, he is the biggest try-hard I have ever met. First, he graduated from dog college to be certified as a service dog. Now he’s going to human college to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.
He is the dumbest, smart dog I have ever met. He is certified as a service dog and knows over 50 tasks, but yet he still takes a minute to process what “sit” is before he even does it. That is one of the easiest things he knows. He also has no common sense. When going to the back door, he will make his way all around the kitchen, around the table and the island, before going to the back door. There is a direct path to the backdoor, but yet he still always takes the long way.
Now let’s discuss his intelligence and about how weirdly shaped he is. First off, he has a giant head. This thing is like a watermelon. And not even just that; he’s the most barrel-chested dog I have ever met. It is so hard to get him to fit into dog clothes because of it too. He also has so much loose skin. Even though he’s only four, many people mistake him for an old man due to his skin. This loose skin even makes what my sisters and I like to call a butt neck, where his jowls sag on his neck and look like a butt. He also is 75 pounds, but he thinks he’s a lap dog. He will try and crawl into anyone’s lap if he sits down in front of him. He gets into more people’s laps than my five-pound Chihuahua does. He also sheds way too much. I brush him on the daily, but even then, every time I brush him, I get off enough hair to make another Felix. I have two other dogs, a mutt and a Chihuahua, and they could never make that much hair in a month.
His personality is that of an old man. He is so lazy, people guess his age to be more like 10 instead of four. He is so low energy that no one could ever guess that he was ever so young. Even his puppy raiser thinks that he is the laziest dog she has ever met. Due to this laziness, he is such a slow walker. When I am walking with him, he will walk a foot behind me, do a little jog to catch up, slowly go back to being a foot behind me, and repeat it all over again. You would never expect a service dog to be so lazy, but Felix is a prime example that service dogs can be lazy. Even though he sleeps so much, you’d expect him to sleep in more comfortable positions. This dog sleeps like a pretzel. His back paws will be up by his head, and his front paws will be in the air. I don’t know how else to explain it, but he sleeps like a pretzel.
Felix also has the weirdest interests. I buy him so many cute toys. He has a stuffed duck, monkey, unicorn, elephant, and so many other things. However, his favorite toy is a water bottle. One of those plastic water bottles is more exciting to him than the 20 dollar toys I buy him at PetSmart. I wish I knew why, but I don’t.
Also, he has a weird relationship with food. He has been eating the same, dry food since he was little, but he still loves it. That food can’t taste good, but he thinks it is the best thing in the world. He drools puddles every time he sees me get a scoop of it out of the bag, not to mention, he eats grass. I feed him enough, I swear, and he gets carrots or watermelon almost every day. However, he still likes to eat grass. I look into my backyard, and I always see him munching on grass. It has been a constant since we brought him home from CCI–Canine Companions for Independence.
Felix is one of the most attention-seeking dogs I have ever met. Whenever he meets someone new, he gets so excited and makes them scratch his butt. No one can through meeting Felix without having to scratch his booty.
I love this dog with all my heart. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and he is my best friend. It does not take away from the fact that he is a really weird dog, though.