A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
Tuesday combines a golden retriever's innate playfulness and bouncy exuberance with a noble bearing and seriousness of purpose. But it is not his beautiful coat, or even his regal attitude, that attract the stares. Tuesday has an extraordinarily expressive face. He has sensitive, almost sad eyes, but they are more than offset by his big goofy smile. He can't pass anyone without flashing them a sly look with those eyes, as if to say, sorry, I'd love to play, but I'm working. He just makes a connection; he has a personality that shines. I am not kidding when I say it is common for people to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of and with him. Tuesday is that kind of dog. And then, in passing, they notice me, the big man with the tight haircut. There is nothing about me--even the straight, stiff way I carry myself--that signals disabled. Until people notice the cane in my left hand, that is, and the way I lean on it every few steps. Then they realize my stiff walk and straight posture aren't just pride, and that Tuesday isn't just an ordinary dog. He walks directly beside me, for instance, so that my right leg always bisects his body. He nuzzles me when my breathing changes, and he moves immediately between me and the object--a cat, an overeager child, a suspiciously closed door--any time I feel apprehensive. Because beautiful, happy-go-lucky, favorite-of-the-neighborhood Tuesday isn't my pet; he's my service dog."