Last year, Manship’s sleep cycle was unconventional in that she stayed awake all night and slept during the day. This contributed to her bad grades, as she would often skip her classes. But having Polka has forced her to stick to a schedule and utilize her time more productively.
As Polka is still a puppy, she sleeps when the sun sets and, in the mornings, Manship has to wake up in order to take her out.
Overall, Manship describes Polka as an easy-going, calm and curious dog, one that doesn’t mind being around people or loud music, and one that rarely barks. When she does bark, it is because she is scared.
Polka gets scared usually over random things. Manship explained the times when Polka barked at their neighbor who walked out in a pink fluffy robe and when she barked at a resident’s laundry basket.
On walks, Polka would always be sniffing her surroundings. Around campus there’s often food on the ground that attracts Polka, to which Manship advises people to throw out their trash.
“People, please stop throwing food on the ground,” Manship said. “Neither my dog or squirrels should be eating cones, pizza crusts or chicken fingers.”
“I’m just not stressed,” Manship said. “It’s the craziest thing, like, I don’t know how. I’ve been stressed my whole life. I’ve literally been anxious since I can remember, and this year has been the least anxious and least depressed of my life.
“Even with school, even with organic chemistry. I hate chemistry. But somehow, I’m happier than I’ve ever been honestly. I love being a dog mom. It’s the best thing ever.”
Assistance animals differ from Service Animals in that “a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability,” according to the UMass Disability Services website.