How I’m Becoming a Service Dog for My Mom With CF

In today's post, Rusalka the Corgi talks about her role as a service dog for her mom with cystic fibrosis.

| 4 min read
Rusalka-the-Dog-Headshot
Rusalka the Corgi
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Kassandra Case
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Today's post on the CF Community Blog comes from Rusalka, a cute Corgi from Tennessee training to become a service dog. Rusalka would like to thank her mom, Kassandra Case, for typing this for her because she has paws.

I am the happiest dog on the face of the planet! Want to know why? I get to go and do everything with my mom. I am a service dog (in training). I hold that very dear and true to my heart. I love my job! Sometimes, I don't even know I am doing it. My hooman deserves the best support, and that is what I will give her.

My pawrent did not get me at a service dog training specialty institute, but adopted me from a woman who was selling Corgis. My mom wanted a Corgi ever since she was a little girl. She tells me all the time that I am her dream dog, and it makes me feel so special.

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According to my mom, there are a few ways to get a service dog. For starters, there are special programs where you can tell them what kind of service dog you want and why you need one. They will then train your dog and handle the certification process for you.

As for me, my mom and grandpawrents train me themselves for the tasks mom needs me to learn, such as waking her up when her oxygen mask falls off at night, by making me do each task repeatedly for 15 minutes, twice a day. If we are out paddle boarding and she gets tired, I jump in the water and pull her back to the group so she doesn't get left behind. I think it's my favorite thing to do for her. I have also been taught to run to my mom if I hear her coughing, and stay by her side. I especially love cystic fibrosis treatments -- they are the best parts of my day. You can usually catch me leaning against mom's vest, relaxing as she does them. I have learned that during treatments, I do not leave mom's side.

As for my service dog certification, my pawrent read the guidelines and rules as to what she needed to train me to do. At this moment, I am certified as a therapy dog. I am going to strict classes soon, where they will teach me how to be an out-and-about service dog for respiratory service. You can find local trainers wherever you live to train your doggy.

I am very beneficial to my mom in many ways. I provide understanding and unconditional love when it may sometimes be hard for other hoomans to do so. Being a companion and a friend to her in her lonely times helps her know that she isn't alone and I will stick by her through thick and thin. Everyone with pre-existing conditions deserves the love and all the benefits that a service dog can give. My mom will never be alone!

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If you are interested in my story, and would like a service dog to help you along in life, my mommy and I highly recommend it. To keep up with my adventures and learn more about the services I provide to my pawrent, check out my Instagram: @Rusalka_TheCorgi.

And remember: Get out and adventure, no matter how small your thumpers might be!

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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Rusalka was born in August 2016, and was bought by a young woman with cystic fibrosis, Kassandra, to become a service dog shortly after. Rusalka is currently therapeutically certified, and is working to get her full certification. In her spare time, she loves paddle boarding, hiking, swimming, and running around with her mom. You can follow Rusalka's adventures on Instagram @rusalkathecorgi.

Kassandra-Case-Headshot

Kassandra  was diagnosed with CF before birth and adventures through life one breath at a time. Every day is a new adventure, and she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Kassandra is passionate about showing others that people with CF can do anything they set their minds to, and loves to push the boundaries of what society considers “possible” for someone with her disease. Follow Kassandra on Facebook and Instagram @thesassyCFer_.

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