update: my company wants to sponsor me for a service dog, but I’m not sure I should accept

Remember the letter-writer in May whose company wanted to sponsor her for a service dog but she wasn’t sure if it was okay to accept? I told her to go get her dog, and here’s the update.

Of course I took the advice given! Just thinking about your advice, and the advice in the comments, makes me smile huge and goofy. Such an outpouring of love and support, it still makes me tear up thinking about it. Anytime I’m having a really hard week I can just read that page and feel a hundred times better.

My company’s been incredibly supportive and so has the organization. I attended some “Service Dog Boot Camp” sessions in the fall as well as several fundraisers and have been doing some volunteer dog training on the side at my local animal shelter to get me back into the habit of working with dogs and speaking the same language.

As they train dogs for specific functions, they don’t currently have one ready for my specific disabilities, but they do have a class in training at the moment. It’s probably going to be 6-ish months until they’re ready, and I don’t get to meet them until we do some more intense training-together sessions at the organization’s centre (and even then, I won’t know who I’m paired with until the end, which is hard but they’re really good at matching dogs to people and their situations). However, the org has had people do a walk-through at work and has been working with my company to prepare, and they’re pretty thrilled at the idea that my dog (MY DOG!) is going to be working in such a supportive (and safe, and interesting!) environment.

Work’s been very clear that this is both a donation and a method of accommodation for one of their employees, that there’s no repayment necessary (although obviously I’m giving them 110% forever!) and that they’d do this for anyone who needed it. They’re also happy to continue to make donations as everyone has enjoyed working with them and their trainee dogs and honestly, they do wonderful work, providing service dogs for free. It’s also spurred a lot of awareness about how restrictive our industry is regarding people with disabilities and what steps we can take to rectify it. We’ve already made some changes that have increased everyone’s quality of life, like extra dollies and carts when we move desks during project transitions. I’ll admit, it’s been humbling, but occasionally being held up as “If we don’t make this a place for everyone, we’d lose people like this, or never have them in the first place” is also pretty wonderful.

I’m going to get my dog. Thank you, and thank you to everyone in the comments, for your support and wonderful words. I am so excited and hopeful and happy. I also think it’s more than a little wonderful that my dog will have their own government-funded stipend for food and vet care and other necessities if (when) I have to take time off work or if my condition worsens. Not only because I don’t have to worry about them being fed if the worst happens! My dog will be a government agent, y’all.

Go get YOUR dogs, whatever shape they take.

{ 125 comments… read them below }

      1. Amber T*

        Who the heck is chopping onions in my office? Cuz I’m definitely not crying… at all… even a little bit…

        OP, I just want to hug you and literally everyone you work with!

        1. OhBehave*

          It’s REALLY dusty in here! This is such an awesome update and your company – WOW :)

          OP – You will have to update your update with a picture of your pup.

  1. Dawn*

    Oh what a WONDERFUL update! I’m so happy that things worked out so amazingly. What a great company you’re working for!

    1. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

      Glad I’m not the only one :)

      I was sitting at my desk doing the, “I’m not crying, I’m not crying” whisper!

    2. gsa*

      A little misty here too…


      In all seriousness, without pictures it never happened… :D

      I know we, the peanut gallery, cannot post pictures but I am sure if you asked nicely Ms. Green would.

      My sincerest congratulations! Plus infinity to the infinity power

    1. Venus Supreme*

      I know, right?! It takes a certain amount of pleading around here to get an order of Post-Its…

  2. Venus Supreme*

    I’m so happy to read this update. OP, I’m so excited for you and your dog! What a special and supportive bond you two will have– much like the one with your work.

    This was a read that definitely brightened my day <3

  3. Adlib*

    Ack, it’s dusty in here. I’m so so happy for you, OP! What a wonderful update and how exciting for you! This is amazing stuff.

  4. all aboard the anon train*

    Oh, this update makes me want to cry with happiness. I’m so glad everything worked out for you, OP, and that your company is so wonderful to its employees!

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Gene sews.
          Not putting you on the spot, Gene, just mentioning.

          Actually the dog probably cannot have a cape or sweater because it will interfere with his work harness. (So just joking, Gene.)

        2. JessaB*

          No some heroes wear working vests and harnesses. Your company rocks OP and thank you Alison, we totally needed this around this election.

      1. LQ*

        This is so good. And the initial post. I’m going to go back and reread that all day. Thank you OP for sending the update.

      2. SystemsLady*

        First my mood naturally lifts from being awful these past couple of days and now this amazing update timed like this :).

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Alison thinks about what she is doing. Now, if we could just get certain other people to do the same……looking at you, news media.

    1. Sparrow*

      Yes! But the election has made me really emotional, so I totally teared up when I read this. So happy for the OP!

    2. Turtle Candle*

      Yeah, I was just thinking, this was just the kind of joyful update that I needed today. Thanks, Alison, and LW, and LW’s employer.

  5. Jessesgirl72*

    I think I have something in my eye here…

    So happy for you OP! My friend’s school-age daughter has a service dog, and we call him an Angel in a Dog Suit. I am so excited knowing what a huge difference this will make to your quality of life- and your company is just amazing!

  6. DG's gal*

    This is really wonderful, I am so happy for you. My husband’s company is a training area for service dogs, so he gets to see them from puppy stage to graduating stage. I wish more companies would do this!

  7. LBK*

    I’m really going to need everyone to stop using the phrase “go get your dog,” between this and reading Pantsuit Nation all day yesterday I’m going to end up with a reputation for being the weird guy that cries at his desk all the time.

    1. Emmie*

      I’ve heard a lot of “go get your dog” lately. What’s that about? Excuse my ignorance! I have no idea!

      1. LBK*

        I’m not sure if it means something else outside of AAM, but I meant it in reference to this letter (and Alison’s response to the original letter, which ended with that line).

      2. Emmie*

        Thank you, LBK and AAM. I thought it meant something political that I was not aware of. I am fighting a cold that must be clogging my thinking cap!

    2. Sydney*

      I like the idea of the phrase “go get your dog” to mean do something that will make you happy. :)

    1. Jessica (tc)*

      I was coming here to post the same thing. I have never smiled so big while reading something on the internet, and I definitely needed something positive today!

  8. Kai*

    This made me all misty-eyed. To know that the OP is so valued and appreciated (when so many people with disabilities are treated as an ‘inconvenience’ or a ‘burden’). To know that a service dog is going to get to work in a great company with such great people. To know that the OP will (in her words) ‘get her life back’. Just. All of it. I have so many emotions.

  9. Emmie*

    Your update makes my heart happy! It’s so wonderful that you, your company, and your service dog are paving the way for other folks.

  10. I'm not a lawyer, but ...*

    Maybe one of our Feds can mock up a “government agent” tag for the new dogs collar. (Canine Intelligence Agency? Internal Ruffruff Service? Federal Bureau of Imagooddog?) Way to go OP!

  11. Susan the BA*

    OP and Allison, this is exactly what I needed today, thank you! Congratulations to you, OP!

  12. Anon in NOVA*

    Coming from someone who has cried at ONE MOVIE EVER, aka not a regular at the crying thing (and not a dog person so it’s not that)- THIS MADE ME TEAR UP. This is so wonderful. I’m so happy this worked out!

  13. Mimmy*

    Can I work for your employer??

    What a wonderful update! Your employer sounds like a true model of inclusion. Wishing you the very best with your job, the new dog process, and life in general.

  14. paul*

    I recently had to euthanize my oldest dog. Not a service dog, but a friend. this post makes me happy-cry

  15. Colorado*

    :’-) Go get your dog! Why don’t we all go to our local animal shelter today and go get a dog! Sure beats all the other crap going on. Woof!!!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes — what an excellent idea — dog or cat. If you have room in your life, they are waiting for you and they would really, really like to come home…

    2. SystemsLady*

      Our shelter cat was “watching” a cat-themed nature show with us and meowing “hello” to the friendly cats (and “wtf!?” to the not so friendly ones) depicted the other night.

      Might be a sign our opinionated lil’ guy is missing our former roommates’ cats and nudging us to go out and adopt again :).

    3. dawbs*

      I literally was offered a kitten on my way out of the polling station today.
      I pet it and had to decline, but…KITTENS.
      They’d trump all the crap going on.

  16. TeaLady*

    Aw, what a fab update – it’s made me all warm and toasty inside, so I can’t imagine how happy you must be feeling OP! (although I can kind of guess, it’s simply glowing out of the screen!)

  17. cnh*

    Love love love this update. With all that’s going on in the world, this good news, really makes me super happy!

  18. ella*

    This made me smile so much, especially the all caps “(MY DOG!)”. Thanks, OP, for making my day brighter. Best of luck to you and your dog!!!

  19. Not A Morning Person*

    I’m so happy to hear this update! Thank you for sharing, your update has brought much needed sunshine to this day. Good luck and best wishes for you and your dog and kudos to your company, too!

  20. LAI*

    This is the first time I’ve ever teared up over an AAM post. I love everything about this story. OP, I am so so happy for you that you get your dog and your life back. Also, I’m so happy for your dog to be going to a place where he will be so clearly appreciated and loved.

  21. Nobody Here By That Name*

    What a wonderful update! YAY!

    (Though who the heck is chopping all those onions near my desk. Ahem.)

  22. Drew*

    I needed this wonderful news today. Congratulations and I wish you a wonderful life with your dog (YOUR DOG!).

  23. FrequentLurker*

    Oh my word, tears just spurted from my eyes that weren’t there the moment before I read this. I remember your original letter, your lovely heart made me want to send you huge Jedi hugs.
    What a wonderful update, I’m so happy that you are on the road to getting your dog! Also, hooray for dogs and the amazing people who care for them!
    Your work is an INCREDIBLE organisation, long may they prosper, likewise the service-dog trainers and providers.
    Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing, you made my day! :)

  24. Not So NewReader*

    Congrats, OP. All the best to you and your buddy. Give the little guy a hug for us when you see him.

    To anyone interested there are fantastic stories on the net about service dogs. I read one where the dog:
    dialed 911 (nose on a special button on the phone);
    barked/cried into the phone to alert the operator;
    unlocked the front door when it saw police at the door, (nose or paw on special button);
    guided surprised police officers to the correct room in the house;
    and the responders found the dog had pushed the unconscious owner over into the recovery position.

    In a very cool move, everyone agreed that the dog needed to stay at the hospital with the owner while the owner recovered.

    Still kind of makes the eyes get damp, when I think about it.

  25. Candi*

    This is a total squee update!

    They’re also happy to continue making donations

    And this is just awesome of your work.

  26. JuniperGreen*

    Hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted, what a great update. I needed to read this!

    OP, please check in again when that class of puppers graduates!

  27. Elizabeth*

    OMG, I really needed this today. The world may have gone to hell in a handbasket, but dogs truly do help. Congrats, OP, and I wish you and your wonderful company every success!

  28. Sheikbeats*

    I need to find out who this company is, and relocate to work there. Where I work now, I’m 100% the guinea pig for the first person needing disability accommodations like needing a service dog. My current service dog is self trained, with consults and evaluations with professionals. My worry is that in the future I won’t be able to do this again. As much as training Hercules was rewarding and bonding, it also put an incredible amount of stress and anxiety on my body which only exacerbates my condition.
    Moral of the story, I wish more employers were like this. I don’t mean “I want all employees to pay for service dogs” but simply I wish they were as understanding and supportive.

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