Amy Falk and Mobility Assist Dog Trackr
By Amy Brown
Back and forth. For years, Amy Falk of North Branch, Minnesota was on the fence about an assistance dog and originally decided against it because she wasn’t aware of what was available to her. Then a friend from high school told Amy about Can Do Canines and how her own Mobility Assist Dog helped change her life. Amy decided to do some research and soon applied for her own Mobility Assist Dog.
Amy was born with cerebral palsy and has been using a wheelchair the majority of her life. She has spastic hands, meaning they are stiff and jerky, which at times can make it difficult to hold things like a tablet for class or her phone. “[Trackr] picks [my phone] up at least six times a day, that poor dog,” Amy says with a laugh.
Amy relies on personal care assistants for help with most daily cares, but she still needs help when there is no one around. She struggles with not being able to pick up dropped items and not being able to get in and out of doors that are not handicap accessible. With Trackr, Amy does not have to wait for a person to come help her, nor risk running over her phone with her wheelchair; her four-footed buddy is always there for her.
“[Deciding to apply for an assistance dog] was scary, but it has proven to be really good for me. The other tenants in the apartment are saying that I am a lot more social than I used to be,” Amy says.
An increased social life is just one way Trackr has changed Amy’s life for the better. Although he is not trained to detect migraines, he will lay by Amy’s side so she can pet him when she’s experiencing discomfort. Amy may travel for work, and there is little doubt that Trackr will be there to calm her travel nerves.
Amy’s family and friends feel more secure knowing Trackr is with Amy 24/7. And Amy loves the freedom of choosing to be alone if the mood strikes her.
Their working relationship would not have been possible if it weren’t for the hours put into ensuring the two would be a good fit. Amy stresses the importance of the training process Can Do Canines uses. “The one-on-one training is fabulous because you have no idea what you are doing if you’ve never had [an assistance] dog,” she says.
Amy is grateful every day for those who helped make Trackr a wonderful assistance dog.
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Great Start Home: Marge and Dave Skeie
Puppy Raiser: The inmate handlers at FCI Waseca
Special Thanks: Stephanie Dunford
Whelping Home: The Merkel family
Breeder Host: The Merkel family
You: Thank you for your donations!