Diagnosed with MS, Michelle hopes to have an assistance dog in time to train together before she becomes more disabled. Michelle was very active and independent before the MS and feels that a dog would help her to feel whole again. As she explains:
"The reason I want an assistance dog is because I have MS and I am getting weaker on my right side and my balance is starting to become a problem. I am afraid to go out on my own because of that. My husband is with me most of the time, however he is disabled because of heart problems. I was encouraged by friends who have dogs to think about a dog now while I am still able to participate in the training and not to wait until I am wheelchair bound (if that ever happens). I am also starting to have difficulty picking things up that I drop. I am in pain most of the time and that only adds to my difficulty. I was very active and independent before the MS and I feel the dog would give me back my dignity and make me feel whole again, because the dog would become an extension of me and a companion. I also have difficulty getting up once I have fallen or just kneeling down. Sometimes if I was alone, I would not have been able to get up. I really feel a dog would be an asset."