~ Abi and Rosie ~

In 2019, Abi met her best friend and therapy dog, Rosie (My amazing rosie). When Abi first met Rosie, she remembers falling instantly in love and they’ve been inseparable ever since.

Abi struggles with conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), bromidrophobia, and phantosmia. These all affect Abi in different ways during her day-to-day life. Abi’s OCD is triggered by smells and contamination, the bromidrophobia and phantosmia can add to this. Bromidrophobia is the fear of perceived smells, and phantosmia is known as an olfactory hallucination. Both of which can overlap one another, obviously leading to some distress. Abi’s SPD manifests itself through smell as well, as she avoids certain smells in her daily life. As well as this, she finds touch a challenge.

Wanting to find something to help her, Abi discovered an organisation called Therapy Dogs New Zealand. She decided to further research what this meant and soon it was decided a therapy dog could be helpful. Then, in 2019, Abi and Rosie were matched as a team and instantly formed a bond.

Rosie has been trained to help Abi with many different things. As Abi’s conditions can lead to a lot of distress, Rosie helps to calm her down. When they are out, Rosie can find exits and safe places for Abi, as well as finding someone and get help if needed. Rosie can also get any emergency medications that Abi may need. When Abi is engaging in OCD behaviours, Rosie can interrupt these to prevent any harm or anxiety. If Abi is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, Rosie can pick up on this and can act in a way to help reduce these feelings. She may be able to distract Abi to direct her attention elsewhere. As well as all this, Rosie can even perform deep pressure therapy! This helps Abi when she is very anxious. Due to her SPD, Abi can experience sensory overload. When this happens, Rosie paws at Abi to help her come out of that state.

Since having Rosie in her life, Abi feels that her life has changed. She is now able to leave her room, to go out into the community and attend school. Abi has a lot more confidence and independence since having Rosie at her side. Because of Rosie, Abi has not only been able to attend school independently but has also done a year at UCOL, a polytechnic for business studies. Rosie has allowed Abi an immense amount of independence and confidence. Not only this, but they are the best of friends.

Both Abi and Rosie enjoy going on adventures together. Whether outside in nature, in the community or going to their favourite shop, Lush. When Rosie is not working and is able to have some downtime, she loves to swim. Although, she is never too far away from her person, Abi.

Abi’s life has changed for the better since having Rosie by her side. Having Rosie has allowed Abi to live the life she wants. With Rosie by her side, Abi believes they can accomplish whatever they want. She knows Rosie will be there for her through thick and thin, and Abi will always be there and care for Rosie.