Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Wish I Had a Dog That Could Do That

When I tell people that Isaac helps me do laundry, the most common comment I hear is, "I wish I had a dog that could do that."  I think they misunderstand. 

Now, sure, it is great for me to have a dog that helps me do laundry.  If I did not have Isaac to help me take the clothes out of the dryer, I would experience a lot of pain each time I had to do it.  Doing laundry would wear me out a lot more than it does now and I would be unable to do many other activities later that day or even the next day.  Some days, I would be unable to do my laundry at all.

Even with my service dog, doing laundry is difficult for me.  What Isaac does to help is take the clothes out of the dryer and pick up any items I happen to drop on the floor.  I have to carry a basket full of dirty laundry to the laundry room, put the clothes into the washing machine, transfer the wet laundry to the dryer, carry the basket of dry laundry back to my apartment, and fold and put away the clothes.  Carrying a basket full of laundry is hard on my back and some days, I simply cannot do it.  Reaching into the washing machine again and again is also hard on my back and my arms.

But I think what most people must imagine, when I tell them my dog helps me do laundry, is that somehow I point at a basket of dirty clothes and say, "Isaac, do the laundry!"  And somehow he carries it to the laundry room, puts it in the washer, adds detergent and turns on the machine, the transfers the wet clothes to the dryer, turns on that machine, then gets the clothes out, folds them, and brings me back a basket of clean, folded laundry 90 minutes later. 

I wish it worked that way, but it sure doesn't.

Like I said, I do all the work except getting the clothes out of the dryer and picking up any items I happen to drop on the floor.  And honestly, I wish I could get the clothes out of the dryer myself, because if I could, it would be a lot quicker than having Isaac do it.

Imagine if you had to remove clothes from your dryer like this.  Pull out one item at a time.  One sock, on pair of underwear, one shirt, etc.  Occasionally pause to give an item a good shake before depositing it in the laundry basket.  Take a little break to enjoy a cookie or cracker three or four times during the process.  See how long that takes?  I bet with Isaac's help, it takes me two to five times longer to empty the dryer than it would take a "normal" person to do it. 

Now, it's worth it to me to spend two to five times longer to have Isaac help me because otherwise I might not be able to do my laundry at all or it might cause me a lot more pain, but I wish I could just do it quickly and easily myself.

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