We’ve finished with the smaller animal intros, and it’s on to the canines! Our seventh introduction is also our newest family member, Wasili. Wasi is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, bred in Slovenia and imported to the U.K. in May. He’ll turn six months old on 20 July, and is already weighing in at over 30 kg 🙈. Wasili means “my guardian” in Arabic, a reference to the role he will play in my life.

Wasi is an Assistance Dog in training. By the time he is two years old, he will be fully tasked trained to mitigate my disability, and will replace my current dog, who desperately needs to retire. I have complex PTSD due to long term, severe sexual abuse, so Wasi’s tasks will focus a lot on giving me the ability to live at least the semblance of a “normal” life. Some of his trained tasks will include grounding for anxiety attacks, migraine alerts, waking me up from nightmares, “holding my hand,” space creation (or bubbling as I call it), trigger warnings, and deep pressure therapy. To say that Wasi has a big job ahead of him is an understatement!

So far, Wasi has proven to be an incredibly smart, willing, trainable puppy. But there’s more to him then the job he will eventually do. Wasi is already an integral part of our family unit. He is unbelievably sweet and friendly; he loves everyone, from adults to children to babies to other dogs, horses, and cats. He is silly and dopey and rarely seems to be able to control all four of his legs at once. The fact that he is eager to please doesn’t stop him from putting everything and anything in to his mouth like most puppies, and I spend a fair amount of time chasing him around trying to prevent yet another nonedible item from making its way in to his stomach. He’s shockingly well behaved in public already, generally very brave unless he sees a giant fruit picture on the door, then he sounds the alarm 🙄, weirdo. He accompanies me to work every day at a horse racing yard in Newmarket, where he takes his job as “supervisor” very seriously. One day, I’ll depend on Wasi to give me freedom, courage, and a life outside my front door. But already, I depend on him for laughs, snuggles, and quiet pride that he is such a wonderful dog even without the hours of training ahead of him. Wasi has already lived up to his name and more, I couldn’t ask for a better future lifeline.