Ziva the Assistance Dog... "My ride or die"
Meet Courtney and Ziva. I have cultivated a wonderful friendship with Courtney and Ziva over the course of their many visits to my Sydney pet photography studio, and during those visits, Courtney and Ziva have taught me so much about assistance dogs and the enormous boost they provide to their owner's lives.
Thank you to Courtney for sharing your story with me and allowing me to share it with the world and thank you to Ziva for being your authentic self :)
I asked Courtney to give me a little write up about her life with Ziva. I love the simplicity that shines through, even though it is a very serious and sometimes complicated life they live together, it makes me smile that at the end of the day, even on tough days, Ziva can simply wag her happy tail and make Courtney's day so much better, simply by Ziva being her being by her side.
“Ziva, my sassy little diva. When I first brought Ziva home at 8 weeks from the backyard of a chicken farm, I had no idea the impact she’d have on my life. I wasn’t physically ill then, and couldn’t have predicted how much my life would change, and how much Ziva would be a part of it.
Her confidence and charisma made her the perfect fit to be an assistance dog,
and when my health deteriorated, she was there, giving me something to focus on. She’s learned to alert me to oncoming panic attacks so I can de-escalate them, she can pick up pain signals in my body that I’ve accepted as part of life and tell me to sit down and take a break before my body gives out, she can help me back to the car when I don’t think I can make it. And she does it all with such exuberance and a violently wagging tail.
But it’s also the every day things; demanding breakfast at 6am every morning, which means I’m awake to take my medications on time, and just doing goober dog things that make your chest hurt from laughing. She’s my sidekick, my ride or die, and my best friend."