Sheree and ASDOG Jade have enjoyed an endearing and successful six-year partnership. Here Jade candidly reveals the truth about the life of fame she was born into!
Editor: Jade, you must be a great help for Sheree. What sorts of things do you do for her?
Jade: I do heaps; I’m very clever you know! I open and shut the doors, drawers and the fridge, I put things away and retrieve things, I take Mum’s jackets and shoes off, pick things up that she drops, put the toilet seat up and down, open and close the blinds, turn lights and the water fountain on and off, take the phone to Mum…
Editor: Wow! You are clever. What about house work, do you help with that?
Jade: Oh yes, I forgot that. I take the washing off the airer, put Mum’s things away where she tells me, tidy my toys up, pick up my old bones in the backyard, put things in the bin, take my dinner bowl to the sink…
Editor: And when you go out?
Jade: Yep, I’m helpful everywhere. I help with doors, I take the queue ticket out of the machine at the bank, I pass Mum things from shop shelves and pass Mum’s credit card from the counter back to her…
Editor: Which job do you think is the most important to Sheree?
Jade: Mum says that when I pick things up that she drops like the door key or mobile phone it makes her feel safe.
Editor: That’s fantastic. You must get a bit tired of working sometimes though.
Jade: Are you kidding? I’m given a treat every time I help out. I could work all day; in fact if you have a dog biscuit I could help you now. Would you like your jacket taken off? No, what about your shoes? Perhaps you’d like me to put your mobile phone on the table…?
Editor: Ah… I’m okay for now. Did you have to learn anything new after you moved in with Sheree?
Jade: Yes, funny you should ask that, I thought I had passed graduation! Mum needed a few things that weren’t on the curriculum yet. It wasn’t a problem for a special dog like me, though. I quickly learned and passed the blinds, toilet seat and ticket machine tests.
Editor: How do you know when Sheree needs your help?
Jade: She either tells me with a known cue, points to something like a drawer handle or positions herself in a familiar spot like next to the fridge door.
Editor: Can you tell me about where you and Sheree go in an average week?
Jade: Well, we go to work five days a week to the office and two hospitals. On the weekends we have lunch with Mum’s friends and go to the lake, the beach and different parks. The lake is my favourite place; I loooove swimming. We also go shopping every week or so. Mum lets me pick a new toy sometimes. I only buy the ones that squeak, they’re the most fun!
Editor: What a busy week. What happens on a typical workday?
Jade: After breakfast we have a run and a sniff in the park. I don’t have my jacket on then so I get to play with my friends. I like Baxter, Lilly and Monty the best because they’re big like me. I get dressed in my jacket and we catch a taxi to work. I sleep on my bed next to Mum’s desk or go out to the
lawn if I need a break and then we go for a run at lunchtime. Another taxi takes us to the hospital sometimes so Mum can see some clients or attend a meeting and we go home at about 5
p.m. Our friend Paul drives the taxi home and he plays with me after I get changed out of my jacket.
Editor: What jobs are you required to do at work?
Jade: I retrieve printed pages from the photocopier, fetch the air conditioner remote from the wall
bracket, put things in the bin, open and shut doors, pick up anything that Mum drops, take her jacket off if she gets hot. Occasionally I have to demonstrate my skills for Mum’s clients who have a spinal cord injury. They say I’m more intelligent than their children sometimes!
Editor: You’re so busy! Are you given plenty of play times?
Jade: Play times are cool! I only wear my jacket when I’m in a public place where pet dogs wouldn’t be allowed to go. Every day I get to run free in off leash areas and play, sniff, swim… it’s
a great life you know!
Editor: It Certainly sounds like It! Who looks after your feeding, brushing and washing?
Jade: Mum gets my food ready and I gently take the bowl off her lap. I get brushed by Mum with the special brush that she straps to her hand. And washing… aghhh… Mum’s carer washes me in the shower. They think I run around excitedly after a shower because I feel fresh. What a myth;
I’m just so ecstatic that the chore is finally over!
Editor: Where do you sleep at home?
Jade: My white leather chaise is near Mum’s bed. I sleep on my back with my head on my cushion and snuggle against my cosy purple blanket. Mum’s friends laugh and they’ve all taken
photos of me. I don’t know why.
Editor: Laugh? How odd! Have you ever been on holidays?
Jade: That’s when you don’t come home at night time, right? Well, er… I don’t like to boast but I have frequent flyer points you know. I’ve been on planes to the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Bundaberg Adelaide, Coffs Harbour and Melbourne. I get to ride in the plane with Mum; I sit on the floor next to her. Every couple of months Mum and I catch the train to the Blue Mountains and spend the weekend at Nanna and Grandad’s place. That’s the best fun. They live on a big bush property and I get to run and swim in the dams to my heart’s delight!
Editor: You are well travelled. Have you been everywhere with Sheree?
Jade: No, I had to stay at home once when Mum and her niece went to the zoo. It’s a designated quarantine area and no animals are allowed to go there, not even Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs. It’s okay though because I got to chew a huge bone at home.
Editor: It must be hard to do the right thing all the time. Have you ever done anything wrong?
Jade: Ha ha ha… listen to this. I ate a whole sponge cake once… as quick as I could… at Nanna’s house! Everybody laughed at how silly they were for putting it on the footstool and then racing out onto the back deck when something caught their attention. Phew!!
Editor: What are your favourite things?
Jade: Umm… breakfast, working for food, dinner, bones, swimming, my friends, rolling on my back, exploring, did I say food?, Nanna and Grandad, playing, taxi rides, carers, running and just going out anywhere. Oh did I say food, because I think that’s my very favourite thing.
Editor: I know how you feel! Finally, do you think Sheree realises just how special
Jade: Oh definitely, she tells me how beautiful and clever I am all the time.