Greta Baier and Skilled Companion Midas

Having a skilled companion has been life changing for me. Midas, my skilled companion, is from a wonderful organization called Canine Companions for Independence.  Midas first went to a puppy raiser for 18 months, where he learned basic commands like sit, shake, and speak.  Then, Midas went to Canine Companions, where he worked very hard with a trainer to learn many more commands for six-nine months.  Midas was taught about 40 different commands.  We do not use all of the commands, but some we use on a daily basis.  It just depends on my needs.

Girl in wheelchair with black fluffy dog.

Meeting Midas

I was around 8 years old when I first applied to get a skilled companion at Canine Companions.  It took about two years until I got a call saying that they had a dog for me.  I found out I would be going to two-week training in February of 2019.  For the first couple of days, my parents and I went through lots of training to find the perfect dog for me.  On the third day, I was pre-matched with Midas.  Once I got pre-matched with Midas, we did even more training with getting him accustomed to how things worked with me and what things were the most important to help me with my independence.  Around the middle of the second week, I got a final match with Midas.

Midas Enhances Independence

Some of the most significant things Midas does for me is to help me open closets, open doors and pick things up that I drop (especially my phone).  As a person with a disability, Midas has definitely made an impact in my life, an amazing one!  I gained more independence, and a best friend!  Check out the video below to see Midas at work, doing what he loves the most!

 

About the Author:

My name is Greta Baier. I am 12 years old and I live in New York City. I have a rare congenital muscle disease called Nemaline Myopathy. This causes me to have weaker muscles than others, which affects my ability to do many things, even as simple as getting my phone out of my pocket. I can’t stand, walk, or breathe independently, and have a wheelchair to help me get around, and a ventilator to help me breathe. My blog, Gretability, is a way for me to share with and teach the world what living with a disability is like, and inspire people that might have similar challenges to me. I am finding the ability in disability.

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