Allen Parton suffered a serious head injury while serving in the Gulf War and returned home unable to walk, talk or remember most of his life. He couldn't even remember his wife, Sandra, and their two children. After five years of rehabilitation, he was still severely disabled.
Endal was a Labrador puppy with problems of his own until he ‘adopted' Allen and Sandra.
The book tells how the dog changed Allen and Sandra's life. One particularly amusing part concerns buying a new washing machine. Endal had discovered how to open the old machine and would take the washing out and put it into a basket, shutting the washing machine after he had finished. The machine gave up the ghost so Allen and Sandra went to a big department store to buy a new one.
‘I'm looking for a new washing machine,' said Allen, ‘but it has to be one that my dog can open.'
The salesman was obviously gobsmacked but agreed to let Endal try a few machines, so he went down the row opening the doors and pulling out the hoses etc stored inside. I would love to have been there to see the salesman's face.
I know I'm biassed, but I think it absolutely amazing what dogs can do for people, both emotionally and practically.