The Gift that Changed My Life

By Sarah Best, Abilities Expo New York Metro Ambassador

Have you ever received a gift that changed your life? That's what it felt like for me when I received my service dog, Edison, from the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS). He has given me the gift of independence!

Having him by my side is such a comforting feeling. We go everywhere together. We often go to NYC which requires a cab to the train station, a train ride, a bus and then some walking. Edison does it all with ease and never complains! Makes me tired just thinking about it!

A Service Dog: The Gift that Changed My Life

Game-Changing Advantages of a Service Dog

His incredible training helps me more than words can say. The simple act of dropping a pen in the middle of Grand Central Station would send me into a tizzy thinking about having to ask for help and possibly making a big scene. Now with Edison by my side, I don't even think that way. A simple command sends us on our way in less than 30 seconds.

A Service Dog: The Gift that Changed My Life

The beauty of this dog not only what he does for me, but also the interview process I went through when I applied to NEADS. I first filled out a short but precise application where I had to answer questions about my daily life and schedule. About a week after I sent the application in, I received a call to head to the NEADS campus for an in-person interview. The interview was an in-depth conversation that elaborated on the questions I previously had answered in the application, and more! Questions like: What time do I wake up in the morning? What time I go to sleep? What does a typical day look like? The staff covered all details so they could match me with the dog that would best suit my needs.

A Service Dog: The Gift that Changed My Life

Once the interview was done, the waiting began! It was a year later that I got the call that a dog has been matched to my needs! A month later I went to the training facility to learn how to work with my new pal.

Now, after a year and a half of our partnership, I can definitely say that Edison is the greatest gift I've ever gotten!

Meet Sarah Best in person at Abilities Expo New York Metro, May 4-6, 2018 at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center.


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