From watching Drew Lynch’s video, we know that he has a severe stutter. And to cope with his disability, he adopts a service dog named Stella, a Hungarian hunting dog.
He got his disability from getting hit by a softball when he was 23 years old. That accident gave him a severe trauma to his vocal cords and left him with a permanent stutter.
Growing up, all he wanted was to become an actor, and now his dream had shattered. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, he decided to explore a different path: comedian.
Luckily, he made the right choice. After getting his feet wet in stand-up comedy, Lynch decided to compete on America’s Got Talent in season 10 and ended up winning the first runner up. Today he is a famous comedian, actor, and YouTuber.
In several interviews, Lynch attributes much of the success he’s had to Stella.
What is a Service Dog?
A service dog is a special dog trained to assist a disabled person. Being a service dog is a tough and stressful job and not for every dog.
Some breeds are better for certain disabilities than others. For example, German Shepherds are excellent guard and guide dogs.
Labrador and Golden Retrievers are the most commonly employed service dogs because of their sizes, demeanors, and trainability.
Bernese Mountain dogs are well-suited suited for mobility-impaired or elderly people due to their loveable natures and massive bodies. Collies are useful to help its owner during a seizure.
Pomeranians and Shelties are popular service dogs for those who are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Drew Lynch and His Service Dog
Life can be tough when you’re disabled. People get impatient and irritated, start laughing, or simply ignore Lynch while he tries to say something. For stuttering people like Lynch, this can be very frustrating and exhausting.
When he gets angry, the words sort out tumble out of his mouth, and the stutter gets worse, and then he will not be able to get a word out. Then without being aware of it, he might take quick, shallow breaths or even hyperventilate.
As a service dog, Stella can recognize and intervene should Lynch shows sign of anxiety, panic attack, and similar conditions. She’ll block and steer him away from trouble.
Different Types of Disabilities
Here’re different types of disabilities that service dogs can help with.
- Visual impairment.
- Deafness and hearing impairment.
- Seizures and epilepsy.
- Psychiatric conditions such as depression, autism, and bipolar disorder.
- Mobility impairment.
Other Famous People and Their Dogs
President John Kennedy’s family had nine dogs, among other animals, during the president’s time in the White House.
In addition to the family dog, Charlie (Welsh Terrier); and Pushinka, a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the Kennedys had Clipper, German Shepherd; Gaullie, a poodle; Shanon, Irish cocker spaniel; Moe, Doberman pinscher; Wolf, an Irish wolfhound schnauzer cross; and for puppies.
The Obama Family
The Obama family had two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. Although they were not trained to be service dogs, the pair were so popular they had their own schedules when Obama was still president.
Carrie Fisher had openly admitted her past struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental illness. After several rough years, she found consolation in her Frenchie, Gary.
The Frenchie acted as a therapy dog, giving her comfort and a sense of stability when her mental state was worsening. Once he was certified as a therapy dog, Fisher took him with her everywhere from Good Morning America to the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.
In a short amount of time, the two formed a special bond that lasted until the very end. The dog stood by her side until Carrie passed away in 2016 due to a heart attack.
“Gary is like my heart,” Fisher said. “Gary is very devoted to me, and that calms me down. He’s anxious when he’s away from me.”
It may be hard to believe, but the Superman actor Henry Cavill is indeed afraid of flying. As a Hollywood hotshot actor who needs to travel all over the globe very often, this fear of flying debilitates him.
To deal with his fear, he adopts an Akita dog named Kal-El (yup, Superman’s Krypton name), who is allowed to travel on airplanes in the cabin with Cavill.
Akita is a large dog that originates from Japan and is known as a symbol of happiness and a long life.
At once time, only the Japanese imperial family and their court could own Akita. Today they are so revered they are considered a national treasure in Japan. If you go to Odate, a city in the Akita Prefecture of Japan, you’ll find a museum dedicated to the breed.
Akitas have a unique temperament that makes them a good therapy dog. They bond closely with their owner and family. They are a very loving and steadfast dog, very affectionate with their family but not prone to separation anxiety.
Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, who starred on Broadway in “Wicked” and the TV series Glee, had a Maltese called Maddie.
Unfortunately, Maddie has passed away, but throughout her life, she served as Chenoweth’s ESA dog providing Chenoweth with the comfort and support she needed.
Maddie the Maltese died in 2016 after spending 14 years at Chenoweth’s side.