Wednesday, January 19, 2011



Happiest Woofs my special friends and family! I have such exciting news for the new year, ( I can hardly contain my paws!) Global TV invited West Coast Assistance Teams to tape a segment for television with their service dog psychiatric teams.  I must tell you how wonderful it was to show off my Mom, Donny and our very best new friends, Sage and Sue! Thank you Mel for being you.  Your sparkling smile and never ending ability to always be there to help warms my heart.  You are my friend when I am down, up, happy, sad, you mean the world to me.

West Coast's office in Burnaby welcomes clients with a warm and caring atmosphere. You will not find any other organization that will treat you like family, and be sincerely aware of your personal needs regarding a therapy or service dog. 

Lynn Colliar from Global TV and her camera man Carl joined us at the West Coast office in Burnaby to interview  Sue Specht, her miraculous service dog, Sage and my Mom and I!!  Sharon was interviewed with 'Ellie', a West Coast puppy in training to demonstrate how the puppies begin their journey and training with West Coast Assistance Teams. We shared personal, touching stories of how our lives have been enriched with the loyal support, love and independence that our service dogs enable us to enjoy.  We now have the ability to take part in life,  whereas before we suffered the nightmare of our debilitating disease that would paralyze us inside our homes and mental terror.

 Our sincere and only wish is that someone out there,  somewhere,  who is suffering the dark despair of a mental disability may feel hope after seeing our story.

I am always here for you, your friend Rosie! See how pretty I look for the camera! Lynn and Carl from Global TV made us all so comfortable and there was laughter, fun and tender tears during our taping session.  I felt  right at home and so did all the members of my West Coast Family. 

Very special thanks and hugs to Carl for showing Donny the camera and making us all feel like we were at a warm family gathering! Donny was thrilled with the attention Carl showed him and the attentive time he took to teach  him about the television camera.  A future television camera man is in the making!

 Sage and his owner Sue traveled by bus, from Vernon,  to the lower mainland for this very special taping.  They did this to reach out to you.  This was no easy task for this very special team.  Sue was previously not able to even go out on her balcony. For this team to travel so far by bus is nothing short of a miracle! I am SO PROUD of them!  We were nervous when the interview's began, (it is television!) Lynn is the sweetest person and put us at ease in moments.  It is extremely difficult to remember traumatic moments that trigger pain. Lynn took the time to understand, she has that way about her. I will never forget her kindness and empathy towards our very sensitive and emotional interview.  Lynn wanted to help others as we did, her smile and tender soul will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Off to the Sky train we went after taping the interviews at  West Coast Assistance Team's office in Burnaby. A short stroll to the station and a very special first trip for Sue and Sage to Metrotown Station! Their first trip on the sky train~ They did wonderful!! Carl was taping with Ryan showing us the way and we had permanent smiles the whole trip!! (Stay tuned to Global TV for our sky train journey!). The whole trip took maybe twenty minutes, a small moment in time to other passengers but a miracle to people like us, or maybe you, that would be terrified to embark on such a journey.  

 A trip like this may have put Sue in a major panick attack. I know Sue was battling her disease the entire time but Sage was their to help her cope and her bravery emerged with Sage by her side. 
Sue, Sage, Mom and I returned to the West Coast Office victorious!! We all enjoyed a well deserved rest and settled for a relaxing snooze before going home.
Delhi and Shonna joined us for a visit after the taping. They are a wonderful team! How nice to enjoy a comfortable snooze with beloved friends!

Delhi is the sweetest dog I know and her owner Shonna is a wonderful person. We had a great visit with them and enjoyed the companionship of West Coast's dedicated Teams.

 Miracles CAN happen with these amazing service dogs. Rosie and I experience these miracles every day.  This was a very special day when we could share with the world how our very special service dogs can give independence to the mentally disabled.  No longer do I fear the dark, my Rosie awakens me with the light of her kisses and joy of her soul. The comfort and ease in her eyes makes my world calm and serene. Her ever constant presence is my fluffy pillow where I can put my mind to rest.

I have had the greatest gift of Sue and Sage who have been staying at my house.  We have shared many horrible memories but also the understanding of our disability.  I now know I am not alone and with our loving dogs by our side we are conquering every abusive memory we share. It is so incredible, and hard to describe but we may be discussing horrendous abuse at one moment and then hugging our dogs and going for a walk the next.

 We are brave souls and our dogs give us the unconditional love, calmness and peace that medicines cannot.  We still need our pills to stay stable but the stability and independence our service dogs give us is beyond any therapy, they are our life and we live through them. I will NEVER forget this healing experience. The love, support, friendship and unique understanding of Sue and Sage staying at my house. I do not have to explain anything to them, they know.  We can live our lives with our dogs, we can make it. 
We want you to know this hope and love.

A few photo's of our very special day with Lynn, Carl and Global TV.  I could not imagine a more relaxing, fun, caring and dedicated day to help people that suffer from a mental disability. The warmth and respect for those like myself that need to reach out to others and let them know they are NOT alone was evident and tenderly foremost to all involved.  

These very special photographs courtesy of Ryan Hill. His professional and heartwarming photo's are extremely appreciated by Rosie and I for her blog.  Thank you Ryan for your wonderful pictures of West Coast Assistance Teams day with Global TV. You capture the love and spirit of our happiness. You also capture the souls and unconditional love of our service dogs. 
My Mom would like to express her love for Sharon for her endless dedication, hard work and open heart towards her when she feels sad or overwhelmed. Sharon's hugs understand the pain and she dedicates her life to soften that pain for us and many other people, everywhere. Thank you Sharon, you are my mentor and the most giving person I have ever met, I love you very much.

Today Lynn and her camera man Sergio returned to my house for some final shots that will be on Global TV! We all again felt the warmth of her smile and tender ways, she is a very special person and I will admire her always. I am going to miss my new buddy Sage and Mom will miss her new friend Sue as they are returning to Vernon in a few days.  The world awaits us and I know with me by Mom's side we will be able to visit them this summer. Adventures await us, life is a highway that we now travel.  For everyone that shared love, laughter, tears and heart warming personal moments this very special week, puppy love and tail wags!

We sang 'Life is a Highway' on the way home that day, what a fitting song! Time to relax and have some fun with my friend Sue, who knows me like no one else ever will.  Sue, I love you so very much and Sage brings brings me out of the darkness with true laughter from my very soul! 

  There is a light in that dungeon of darkness, there is a key to unlock the chains of mental pain.  See us and see hope, we may never be free of our demons but their are angels that let you live life.
Much Love, life and especially from Rosie...

'Who You Are Makes a Difference'


  1. Thank you Leanne. You are a very special, creative women and we see that with all your blogs. Thank you and Sue for coming forward to tell your stories. We are so proud of you and all our West Coast Teams. Each with their own stories to tell.

    Live, Laugh & Smile on your journeys!
    Sharon & Ryan

  2. Thank you for this post Leanne! It is always nice to hear about your journey and smiles. You are sharing your unique insight into life with a service dog and your readers are forever grateful.

  3. Thank You so Much Leanne Donny and Rosie for welcoming me into your home I have had so much fun being with you all. I love you all so much..
    You are very special to me Leanne. ~~BIG HUGS~~ You did a wonderful blog, I love how you put your words together.. amazing!!

    love from Sue and Sage
    we will miss you so much when we leave!!

  4. Hello Rosie you amazing lovely lady!! your Mom is so talented ,bringing warm and loving thoughts to many by writing these blogs,,I know you have had a big hand in it,, to bring out your Moms talents is a job well done,,I am looking so forward to seeing your taping,, and I am so proud of you Leanne and you Donny,, such a loving and giving family" a big hug to each of you,,Mom

  5. as always, your words make me cry. I am so happy to be a part of your journey! Grandma loves you Rosie girl! You both make me proud!

  6. Through the assistance of West Coast Teams I have become aware of your blog.

    Rosie and Mom, you are doing so much good to the world in the realm of "mental illness" .....spreading the huge reliance we who suffer from the "unseen disabilies" with a direct corralation to the soothing effects and liberating effects of our dearest four legged companions.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and news of advancemnt.

  7. Well, we're proud of you both, too, Leanne! Your story, along with Sue's, is a most beautiful story to share with the world. I have seen how Rosie has changed your life and it brings tears to my eyes each time I read one of your blogs. I understand that deep appreciation and love for your Rosie as I am blessed with the same feelings toward my Dexter. I don't know where I would be without him. Keep it up, Girl... Can't wait for the 26th to see you all on Global.