Rachel and Radar’s story
Since birth, Rachel has lived with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. At the age of 40, she lives in a Jewish community share house in Melbourne together with other people with a disability. Rachel is extremely popular among her fellow housemates. She regularly sees her parents but prizes her independence highly — an Assistance Dog was always going to make an extraordinary addition to her life. Enter the vivacious Radar…
Radar was identified towards the end of her Advanced training as a potential Physical Disability Service Dog. She not only showed a love of working around electric-powered wheelchairs early on, she had a talent for pushing pedestrian buttons! Her very sociable, affectionate nature was the perfect match for Rachel’s share house lifestyle. Rachel loves — and laughs at — her special dog’s quirks: “She does this thing where when you pat her, she puts her head down and bottom in the air and gets all excited. It’s really funny. And when she greets people with a soft toy, she just about turns herself inside out and almost somersaults for a pat. When she first sees you, she leaps off the ground with all fours in excitement.”
Woman and dog: the partnership
Rachel and Radar are truly inseparable. Each day they go for a walk together, although neither of them are fans of bad weather! Well, they do live in Melbourne…
Radar helps with many physical tasks. For Rachel, the biggest assistance she provides is picking up dropped items and objects from the floor. In addition, she pushes buttons at pedestrian crossings, opens and closes doors, and helps Rachel to take off her jacket. She even accompanies her beloved client to the local synagogue. At the end of the day, she, of course, sleeps in Rachel’s bedroom.
“Radar settled in really fast, it was like I’d had her for forever, Rachel says happily. “But she also helps me emotionally just by being there. She is security for me and makes me feel safe at home and while I am out and about in the community.”
Friends, family and everyone who meets Radar just loves this amazing dog and always looks forward to seeing her. Radar’s presence in Rachel’s life has, without doubt, enriched her interaction with the community. The pair had a great time when they participated in a TV ad for the Heart Foundation, and Rachel plans to become involved in fundraising for the organisation.
Radar’s training was proudly sponsored and funded by Bayer.