A Different Kind of Working Dog

I failed. Breathe. I failed. Breathe. Please breathe. 
I should have done better. I know I could have done better. Why didn’t I do better? There’s expectations for me and I just can’t hit them. I failed. I’m a failure. If I failed a test how am I ever going to excel at anything else in life? This is the basics, and I failed. My parents are going to hate me. Just another thing on the list of why I’m not the perfect daughter. Great. I thought things were going good - way to fuck that up. I failed. I will fail in the future. My parents will hate me. Will they still help me? Where do I go if they don’t? I can’t afford an apartment by myself. The taxes. How do I pay for a place, the taxes, my car, gas…food, water…. Breathe… 

All at once all of these thoughts fly through my head. One little issue cascades into a complete panic attack. All the sudden I’m curled up in the corner of a room - I don’t know how I got there. I can’t breathe. I’m crying. Why am I crying? I can’t see - it burns. My hands are shaking and I can’t think straight. 

Loved ones are trying to help me but its not use. “It’s Okay.” No. No. No it’s really not okay. Don’t you understand that I failed? It’s not okay. No, you don’t understand. You’ll never understand. Fuck you. Get away from me. Wait…I didn’t mean that. I’m just freaking out. Please don’t go. No. Please. I need you. Please don’t leave me. I can’t get through this by myself. I don’t know how to snap myself out of this. Please.

Fast forward 5 years. 

No! You will never understand. There’s no way you could possibly underst… dog. 
I’m not okay puppy. I feel so alone. Oh, thank you for the kisses. Lay down on my lap? Can I hug you? You’re a good dog. 
Hey….I can breathe…. I stopped shaking… how did you do that puppy?

This is a little snap of my life before my service dog, and what it like after. He won’t really prevent the anxiety from happening, but he does help calm me down. He helps me to get too a point where I can clearly think and go throughout my day comfortably. 

So, if I go out with my dog and he is wearing a vest that clearly marks him as a service animal - you can’t distract him. He is working. 
This means you are not allowed to let your kid come up and pet him. You are not allowed to whistle from across the room and see if he hears you. You are not allowed to make noises and talk to him in a baby voice. I know he’s cute - and those eyes are adorable, but he’s working.

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