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MEET WSC NORTH OLMSTED UNIT MEMBER SAMMI CAMERON…

Hi, my name is Sammi! I met some of you during training, and must say I had a great time getting to know you! It was a unique opportunity to educate folks about the many life-altering tasks we service dogs can do to allow our people to live a normal life, if there IS such a thing! Some of you may remember my person, Scott, (big, lurpy guy I brought in with me every day). Well, he and I met the day he rescued me at five weeks old.  I was a scrawny runt that fit snuggly in the palm of his hand. (I think he thought I’d stay small and be cheap to feed!) As it turns out, I was small then, but not a runt after all! I have grown, and grown, and grown, and grown - you get the picture! - into the majestic girl I am today. I am a pure bred GSD (that stands for German Shepherd Dog). Unless you’re afraid of German Shepherds, then I’m really an Alsation; a very friendly sort. (Same thing as a GSD, but thinking I’m something else seems to help get some people over the hump. Then I break the news to them that they’re one and the same thing…shhhhhhhh!) My life as a PSD (psychiatric service dog) began when I noticed that my man Scott had what I later learned were nightmares, PTSD, service related, that made it nearly impossible for him to get a good night’s sleep. I decided to chase them away when I sensed them coming on and wake him gently. Boy, was he ever grateful! Now, for the most part, he can get his snooze on pretty well. I love to play hide-n-seek with “the grandkids.” I run all over the house looking for them every time I come home. They can hide pretty good, though, ‘cause I only find them once or twice a year! Well, since the big man would always check out the house for bad guys (hyper-vigilance) whenever he came home, I decided to pretend I was looking for the grandkids and “clear” the house for him when we came home so he could be at ease on his own turf! Twice a day I take a supplement to keep my big-dog joints healthy. I notice that Mr. Copy-Cat takes his pills at the same time as me, and for some reason he thinks it’s a wonderful thing when I bark to remind him to give me my pill; I guess it reminds him to take his, too! I love to go everywhere with my dude; after all, somebody has to drive! At first, we never went anywhere. We stayed away from people and just hung out in the house with the lights off. I learned later that even a big ‘ol fellow like him could feel unsafe, (anxiety, hyper-vigilance), when there were too many people around, or they got too close. So, I trained him to trust me to have his back and move between him and anybody that comes a little too close. It seems to work out pretty well. I mean, after all, he made it through training with my help! When Scott was prescribed a service dog by the VA last year, I gladly volunteered for the job and passed the evaluation with flying colors! Good thing, too. The waiting list for a dog is three to five years! Aside from these tasks; waking him from nightmares, clearing the house, reminding him to take his meds, and having his back in public; we’re just good old buds. When we’re at home and I get time off to be a dog, I romp it up with my sister Shortz, (she’s a boxer…get it? Boxer Shortz?), and hang out with my other person, Kelly. Life is a lot brighter in the Cameron household since I got here and got to work getting my best friend back in the game. He says I’m a life saver, but to me it’s just cool hangin’ out together all the time. We’re BFF’s and trust each other with our lives. Can’t wait to meet the rest of the gang! When we see each other around, don’t hesitate to ask Scott about us; he loves to talk me up! Yours Truly, Sammi

Have your own biography to share? Send to jmorron@rrcity.com.