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Brace Me, Baby 8 March 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Brace, Support PAALS, Tasks, Training.

Some tasks don’t require tugging, nudging, pawing or retrieving! They just require bracing. The dog stands and “braces” while the partner uses the weight of the dog to pull against or to balance against. These are tasks that do not require a harness. Harness-based tasks will be considered separately later.


  • Transfer assistance from wheelchair to bed, toilet, bathtub or van seat – Hold, Stand, Stay, position, then brace on command, enabling partner to keep their balance during transfer. This is mostly for partners who are paras or quads.
  • Position self and brace to help partner catch balance after partner rises from a couch or other seats in a home or public setting. This is very much a “biggie” for me.
  • Prevent fall by bracing on command if the partner needs help recovering balance. Again, this is a biggie for me. I am not real steady on my feet on some days.
  • Steady partner getting in or out of the bathtub – yep, this is something I need, too!
  • Assist partner to turn over in bed; have appropriate backup plan. I do not need this, but many paras or quads need this.
  • Pull up partner with a strap [tug of war style] from floor to feet on command, then brace till partner catches balance. Again, this is not a service I need, but it is something needed by many paras and quads.

Bracing is the first task I identified that a service dog could do to change my life. My husband or one of my sons was constantly having to help me get out of chairs. If no one was around, either I was stuck, or I had to struggle and struggle to get up with my cane and the arms of chairs. Since my hands hurt much of the time, it is hard to put much pressure on them, to lean on them, to pull or push with them. So I rely on my forearms – except when my elbows and shoulders are painful. And my hips and knees are stiff and painful, too. My sons, daughter and husband know how to brace and offer an arm for me to hook my arm around to pull up without putting too much strain on them or on me. And this is what Woof will learn to do. Brace for me to hook my arm on to a lead and pull up without putting too much strain on Woof or on me!

So, Brace me, Baby! Help me up! Help me into and out of the tub! Help me out of bed! Keep me from falling! What a bright world it will be with my Woof Bracing me!

Please support PAALS!



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