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A Story by Hesme

There are many reasons why you should not get a service dog. They are expensive to train.

They require a lot of work, energy, time and effort. You always must think and be responsible for the dog. You will constantly have to fight for your right to access.

People will stare at you and discriminate against you. You might even have to give up certain things you love.

All that said, I would not exchange my service dog and everything that comes with him for anything in the world.

My name is Hesmé Cronjé and I have autism, multiple mental health conditions, a seizure disorder and fibromyalgia.

I have had my fair share of challenges regrading my health. I struggle to cross a road by myself, go shopping, communicate and generally functions in a neurotypical society that is not made to accept people with my conditions.

There was a time when I would come home from school and cry until I fell asleep.

I thought I would never be able to be independent. But my service dog changed that. My service dog gave me confidence. My service dog gave me a chance at “normal”. My service dog gave my hope for a future.


I went from having a seizure a day and being so overwhelmed with anxiety that I felt like I could barely breathe to someone who is advocating for myself, and others like me.

A service dog opens a world that once seemed so far out of reach to disabled people. We get to truly live!

My dog saved my life and continues to do so, but he also taught me how to live and thrive. I am happy and hopefully. And for that I am eternally grateful.

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