“Nowadays we treat your conditions differently,” said Dr. Thompson. “ You've probably heard of Therapy dogs,”
“ Vaguely,” said Emily.
“ Nowadays our treatment for Anxiety and Depression- in fact for a lot of mental illness, has changed. Medicine is bad for you, not to mention the side effects…We have a new course of treatment.”
“ And what’s that?”
“ Simple. Animal’s. Dog’s. Service dogs for the disabled. Just these are special dogs.”
Emily didn’t know what he meant by special beside that it was a dog. She had never owned a dog before but it shouldn’t be too hard.
She was lead to a different part of the clinic to a large room with kennels and small space of the dogs to play. She saw all kinds of dogs. Maby she should get the Yorkshire terrier, or the Boston terrier, or Golden Retriever, or a Labrador, or Husky. So many dogs to choose from.
After saying a few words the doctor left. A different man was there to help Emily make a selection.
“ I was thinking about a Poodle,” Emily said.
“We have that, we have a male here named Coal. He’s the only poodle we have.”
The man opened up Coal’s cage, the black, curly-haired, standard poodle jumped to the ground.
To Emily's surprise and amazement the dog spoke. " My name is Coal, I will assist you with your medical condition. I am fully trained and housebroken and very intelligent."
Emily had never heard of 'intelligent' service animals before, especially ones that can talk. She had so many questions that she wanted to ask Coal.
"I'll take Coal."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, there is something about this dog that I really like."
Emily checked out of the clinic and told her GPS on her self-driving car where to go. Due to Emily's depression and the medicine that she was on, sometimes she was unable to drive, this was when she went out and invested into a self-driving vehicle. "It''s 2020, about time that these were released to the public," Emily muttered.
Soon the car reached her apartment. It was one of the newer one, a 3-D printed one.
"This is your new home, Coal," she said, her voice gushing with excitement and happiness. "You and I will make a great team. "
" Oh yes we will, " said Coal.
"My name is Emily and I will take very good care of you, I promise. "
" Do you know anything about poodles."
"No, not really."
"I'll suggest you do some research."
"I'll make a trip to the library after work."
"Where do you work,"
"At a hospital in sterilizing instruments, the pay is okay."
"Is it boring?"
"Yes it is, but, hey, I have to make money just like everyone else. So, Coal, tell me a bit about yourself."
" I know this may seem really funny, but I enjoy classical literature, or at least having books read to me. I love helping other and love affection. I like barking at cars and squirrles."
" I actually want to be a librarian one day; I want to work with high school students. I enjoy books, too."
"What kind of books,"
"Science fiction and fantasy...I love using your imagination."
They talked some more. Coal explained that he is one of the second generation of 'intelligent' service dogs, that these 'line' of dogs were genetically enhanced and selected for breeding to yield the best dog for the job and health.
She went out shopping and bought him a dog bed, food, and toys. She looked up on the internet about the breed.
Emily begun preparing dinner and opened up the window, soon Coal was barking at people and at cars and squirrels.
Emily yelled at him to stop, he obeyed and lyed by the kitchen.
The next few days Emily went to the library and checked out Pride And Prejudice and some books about poodles. She read to him in the afternoon and everyday when she came home for work she'd read to him.
She loved Coal. What an amazing and sweet dog he was.
It was the second week that she had Coal that she received a knock at her door whil she was reading to him."
She opened the door. It was Mr. Jonson, her landlord."
"Hello, Mr. Jonson. Is there something wrong," said Emily pleasantly.
"I hear your dog barking often, it's very disruptive."
"I'm sorry, sir, but he doesn't do that anymore."
" This is a no pets housing."
" But he's my service animal," she said almost defensively. "The ADA says that you, as my landlord, are supposed to accommodate me with my disability."
"Do you have proof of your disability."
Her lips trembled, her eyes felt warm," No."
"In a week I was that dog out of here, understand!"
" Yes, sir." And he left.
Emily feel to her knees and wept, hugging and smothering Coal with kisses. She whispered, "I want to die."
" No you don't. Dying solves nothing. It will work out."
She went to her room and shut the door. What Mr. Johnson said sent her over the edge. For nearly two weeks Emily laid in bed, refusing to eat, refusing to drink. Coal tried everything to cajole her into happiness, to do something. Everything failed. Because of her depression she neglected Coal's needs. Coal had to resort drinking from the faust and eating whatever human food that he could get his paws on.
Coal raced around the house, barking, attempting to summon help. That failed, too.
He went into the bathroom and combined to house to call 9-1-1. An ambulance came. Coal rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital. Coal explained that Emily had depression and he was her service dog.
Emily was severely dehydrated and malnourished. She had an I.V. and a feeding tube in her.
Coal sayed by her side and sat with her in bed.
On the fourth day Emily had a visitor, it was Mr. Johnson.
" Hi, Emily, I heard from one of my coworkers what happened. I would like to apologize. I was unaware and uninformed of the ADA laws. I'm sorry that it ended this way. I am very sorry."
Emily said nothing. "You can stay!" And Coal licked her face. "We are a team," Coal said. "And you're my best friend."