Written by his wife, Sharon
Dakota has changed Scott's life in many ways; they have become inseparable and spend their days together in each other's company. Dakota gives Scott more responsibility, more independence, and a better overall quality of life. After Scott's stroke he nearly lost all of his responsibilities in the household. With Dakota, Scott has a job again, to take care of a dog who adores him and who he loves just as much in return.
Because the stroke affected Scott's speech, Dakota picks up things for him, by Scott pointing at an object. Once when Scott was playing fetch with Dakota, Scott knocked over several items on a table. Scott and Dakota picked up all of the fallen items together and the look of pride on Scott's face, for being able to clean up a mess for the first time since his stroke, was amazing.
Scott and his family, with ICAN handler, Sonya
Dakota has increased Scott's willingness to speak. He can talk to Dakota with no fear of correction or judgment. Dakota just wags and is joyous with the attention and soft tones Scott uses with his darling dog. It has increased Scott's spontaneous speech and his vocabulary.
It's hard to find something Dakota hasn't made better for Scott. Dakota gives Scott so much and asks for so little, just food and affection.