They wake me every workday. Without my hearing aids, I cannot hear my morning wake-up alarm. So they hear for me. Their persistent howls are within hearing range of my better ear if I happen to be sleeping with that ear up. And their paws on the side of the bed wake me when it's not. (I also have a bed shaker as a back-up plan, but I seldom need it.)
They're not service dogs. But their service to me is invaluable.
Even with my hearing devices on, it can be very hard to hear. I am frequently startled by my husband and daughters when they come into the house. I can't hear the front door. And I can't hear the doorbell. Or knocks. Sometimes, there are sounds in the house that I can't identify.
Irrational fear creeps in. Especially when I'm alone.
Sudden deafness doesn't just affect what you hear -- or cannot hear. If rearranges your normal. What was becomes different. Confusing. Disorienting. And even frightening.
Having my dogs nearby relieves that anxiety. They're my security blanket, in a sense -- providing a quiet sense of security and wellness and comfort. And normalcy.
"Don't worry, human," they tell me with their eyes. "We've got your back."
They deserve another treat.
|Time to get up, Human.|