for Mobility and Support
originally published in the MSSP newsletter Multa Specs
written by Leslie Crane Rugg
If people with multiple sclerosis (MS) share one goal, it’s to remain independent for as long as possible. That one life quality sustains hope and determination above all else. A major aspect of independence is mobility, often a tricky if difficult maneuver to achieve. Certainly, mechanical aids are available from shoe orthotics to leg braces, from canes and walkers to wheelchairs and motorized scooters. They all offer useful support at some point and in many circumstances.
But life quality means more than the use of props. It means interaction, relationships, communication, contact. So imagine the possibility of maximizing both mobility and support through service dogs trained specifically to respond to people with MS. Imagine Lassie at your side, not only alert and intuitive but prepared to handle issues of balance, fatigue, proprioception, and spasticity. Imagine a collie who not only helps you manage stairs, elevators, sidewalks and curbs, but who also is a stabilizing presence at home. Imagine your best friend at your side wherever you want to go.
Leslie Rappaport of Kings Valley Collies (Kings Valley, OR) has been quietly breeding, raising, and training rough (long coat) and smooth (short coat) collies for mobility and support for 20 years. While selecting and preparing her collies for people with a variety of physical challenges, she specializes in training and matching her collies with MS clients.