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Question of the Day
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Like many at the Wyoming Capitol, LeRoy got sick during week three of the four-week budget session.
Blame it on the 12-hour days, the stress of being away from home, or not enough play time. He came down with an eye infection, followed by an ear infection. It took a toll on his energy. LeRoy needed eye and ear drops.
LeRoy, who will turn 3 in July, is believed to be the first service dog in the Legislature, although no one keeps historical records on such details. House Speaker Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, gave Watt permission to have LeRoy in the House chamber and in committee meetings.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen it in my 10 years, other than the bomb dogs that come through every morning,” Lubnau said.
Watt was shot five times nearly 32 years ago while working as a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper. He got LeRoy almost a year ago.
- ‘He knows’
Watt initially adopted LeRoy from a bloodhound rescue to help with physical challenges from his injuries. LeRoy can wear a special harness to pull Watt’s wheelchair, which the lawmaker occasionally uses when the pain is especially excruciating. Watt is training LeRoy to use his paw to hit handicapped switches that automatically open doors. LeRoy is learning to fetch things off the floor, such as keys.
“I have a bullet in my spine and it’s getting harder and harder for me to bend over and pick things up,” Watt said.
It wasn’t until later that Watt realized LeRoy was helping him psychologically, too.
“The fourth time he did that, I all of a sudden could picture in my brain a hand or something trying to flip that switch to have a flashback,” Watt said. “And I thought, ‘Holy cow, he knows.’ He distracts me by doing something, taking my mind off it. Since then, he’s made me more aware of when I’m going to have a flashback.”
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