As people get older and begin experiencing some of the less joyful parts of aging, they can start to feel invisible, confused, and left behind.
Charles Sasser has Alzheimer’s, and has had a rough time with the disease. It’s not easy to navigate life when the world is getting more and more unfamiliar.
That’s what makes moments like the one in this video clip so touching.
It reminds us just how important all the “little things” in life are. When someone is navigating a disease as intense as Alzheimer’s, the tiniest gestures can trigger a world of difference to them; and the clouds can clear just enough for the real person to shine through for a while.
Sasser is a war veteran. He can no longer speak most of the time, which is a major source of frustration for him. His children have watched helplessly as he’s become trapped within the confusion of his mind.
Being able to speak and communicate clearly is something that a lot of us just take for granted. Without really thinking about it, we just assume we’ll always retain who we are.
Sasser’s daughter Lisa shared a video of her dad interacting with the family dog, Roscoe, and it’s absolutely heartwarming. Sasser and Roscoe are best pals, and clearly love each other. It’s a sweet thing to watch.
Sasser can’t speak in most circumstances, but when Roscoe is there, something magical happens. It’s as if Sasser taps back into the man who used to be — and still is inside — when Roscoe is near. Sasser momentarily reclaims his ability to speak.
Seeing him talk to Roscoe is such a treasure. In fact, watching the clip without getting teary-eyed might be close to impossible.
Since posting the video, Lisa has gotten a flood of support. She was hesitant to post it at first, but is so glad that she did. Hopefully, other families who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s are inspired by the video.
The video also reminds us just how valuable and special pets can be. They have the ability to make our lives so much better, and often are truly invaluable to people with illnesses.
We hope that Sasser and his family are able to navigate Alzheimer’s and all its trials as gracefully as possible, and that Roscoe continues to be an inspiration to him.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s, take a moment to pass the sweet story along.
“We were approached by one of the staff members,” recalled Danica, “and the staff member told me that the dog was not permitted, and I said, ‘Okay. She’s not going to be jumping. She’ll be in the waiting area.’ They said no, that management said that wasn’t allowed.”
Kai sometimes suffers from meltdowns and outbursts, so he requires the aid of a service dog named Rosie to keep him calm and help him deal with situations he finds stressful.
Danica and Kai’s mother came to pick up Rosie at the park and took her home. While at the park, she filmed a short encounter with a staff member and received another unsatisfactory explanation of why Rosie wasn’t allowed in the park.
“I’ve talked to both our managers and the owner,” said the staff member. “We just don’t allow it, just in case somebody has an allergy.”
Danica and Kai continued to play at the park while their mother returned home with Rosie in tow. Luckily, all went well, and Rosie wasn’t needed. But Danica feels the way they were treated was still unfair.
“I felt like Kai’s disability wasn’t valid,” she said.
She was also unhappy with the way the staff member approached the situation, specifically refusing to allow Danica to speak to a manager.
Danica had Rosie’s paperwork with her that day and presented it, but staff still refused to see her point of view. According to an email sent by Extreme Air, it seems there was a misunderstanding regarding which areas of the park Rosie should be allowed in.
“The incident arose from a dialogue about the dog going onto the trampoline area,” claimed Extreme Air in the email. “Service dogs are welcome, and we do our best to address and accommodate all our customers’ needs, including those requiring special care.”
Luckily, William Thornton, CEO of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, is on the case. “We work on these situations, so we will be speaking to the company involved, in fact we have spoken to them, and we will follow up, and we will see that they make improvements so this doesn’t occur again.”
Check out the video below for the full story.