Louis Long has always led an active life. Working as a recreational therapist for many years introduced him to the life-changing benefits of assistance dogs for people living with disabilities. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011, Louis applied for a service dog to empower, encourage, and assist him. He considered all the tasks he needed assistance with including help with retrieving dropped items, carrying small household items, retrieving the phone, and opening doors. Although his partner Colt can tackle all the physical tasks he needs, the emotional improvements Louis has felt because of his new companion add just as much value to his life.
Louis reflects, “Having a service dog gives me piece of mind when there are times I will be by myself, and comfort and confidence knowing I will never be without assistance.” Since receiving Colt in fall of 2016, Louis’ capabilities have expanded, leaving him less dependent on others for support. Colt also motivates Louis to venture out and experience the great outdoors again. The pair frequently take walks and spend time making lasting memories together. Louis says, “I will most definitely return the unconditional love to Colt that he has given me.” Colt is half golden retriever and half Labrador.