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Jay Fishman finds independence with a little help from friends

Jay Fishman is what I’d call an everyday hero. People who overcome extraordinary challenges with an unstoppable spirit and is a true inspiration to those around him.

Jay manages life with a neurological disorder that many would find impossible to handle. Plagued by severe and frequent migraines along with difficulties maintaining his balance, Jay enlisted the help of a four-legged service companion that offers him independence and much needed comfort.

The Importance of Service Dogs

While the exact date is heavily debating, most researchers believe that dogs became an integral part of man’s existence between 14,000 and 29,000 years ago. They helped us hunt, kept vigilant watch over our families and livestock and offered unwavering loyalty and compassion in our dark days.

Trained service dogs are nothing short of heroes, wearing fur instead of capes. The role of the service dog in man’s history dates back to approximately 1750, when we began training them to assist our visually impaired. From there, their care and love for us has opened a multitude of life changing ways.

Nowadays, service dogs can be found assisting hearing impaired and the wheelchair bound. Their keen senses allow them to detect the beginning seizures and offer unequaled support for their autistic human companions, and the list continues indefinitely from there.

New Found Freedom and Independence

Due to his neurological disorder, loss of balance and frequent falls are a part of Jay’s life. His service dog is trained to help him regain his balance as well as help him up in the event of a fall, giving Jay more freedom to continue living independently.

However, it was far from smooth sailing after that.

Jay lives in an apartment community on the fourth floor. Due to his migraines, he was often bed-bound and unable to take his service dog out for the necessary frequent potty breaks. He reached out to Porch Potty in 2013 to see if we could help. At the time, there was some concern that it might not work with a standard poodle, but Jay would not be deterred and gave Porch Potty a shot.

His dog took to it right away. Porch Potty was a perfect fit!

Sadly, Jay’s furred companion had health issues of his own and passed away at five years old. Jay has had several service dogs since then, and all have transitioned to Porch Potty with ease. His original Porch Potty has held up through almost nine Ohio winters with little trouble.

Previously, all of Jay’s service dogs came to him as trained adults. As you can imagine, it takes time to find the right fit dog to human. This time, Jay has a puppy, Eddie. An eight-month-old energetic Labradoodle, and by Jay’s description, he is already BIG! Weighing in at 55 pounds but very tall, like his predecessors, he’s adjusted to using the Porch Potty with ease. Jay’s found a new best friend in Eddie, who has in turn found his own independence with a designated space to do his business.

The Porch Potty Mission

We’re very proud to be a part of Jay’s journey. Stories like his motivate us to continue solving everyday problems with practical solutions. We’ve got some amazing designs for new products in the works at Porch Potty as we seek to improve the quality of life for dogs and humans around the globe.

Thank you, Jay, for inspiring all of us by sharing your story!

Jay’s Pro Porch Potty tip:

Jay alternates between two synthetic grass pads with his Porch Potty. Once a month, he takes them to a nearby carwash for a high-power soak to keep them fresh and ready for use.

Do you have any questions, Porch Potty stories or tips you'd like to share? Comment below!

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