This article first appeared in ADDitude Magazine online.

“Do dogs really need their own stroller?”

I mulled this question for several weeks before I finally plunked down my credit card on the dog stroller website and bought a few months (or years) of freedom for Cosmo, my 14-year-old Sheltie.

Like any living being that is the equivalent of 85 in human years, Cosmo has a few aches and pains: a bad back, arthritic shoulder, painful hips. He sleeps most of the day and night. But he still loves his walks. When I lace up my walking shoes, he perks up and trots out to the garage to be harnessed into his leash.

Cosmo, and his younger counterpart Boomer, launch our walks with great enthusiasm, nosing around mailboxes, checking out the latest deer tracks. But on the way home, Cosmo’s optimism is overshadowed by his physical ailments. He slows down, limping with each step.

A couple of times, I tried to carry him home, but 40 wiggly pounds gets heavy after a couple of blocks. I left him at home, which broke his heart. The stroller was my last hope, even though I was a bit embarrassed to order it –- after all, this is a DOG we’re talking about. (OK, I also cook for my dogs, but that’s another story.)

That doggie stroller works beautifully, though. I push it empty on the first leg of our journey and when Cosmo tires, I lift him gently into the stroller and push it “with dog” the rest of the way.

That stroller reminds me that we ADD folks also need a little boost when we get tired halfway through doing the dishes or organizing our closets. Our initial optimism and enthusiasm can take a nosedive. Our brains poop out and our bodies follow suit.

Like Cosmo, we have a few aches and pains going on in our ADD brains. We need the equivalent of a doggie stroller to get us back on track. Choosing the right kind of boost is important.

Sometimes we simply need to take our next dose of ADHD medication. Sometimes it’s better to call our therapist or a good friend, or to make an appointment for a neurofeedback session. Like Cosmo’s doggie stroller, we need to tailor our support specifically to meet our ADHD needs.

And then we need to accept that assistance with grace and appreciation. None of this “no, no thanks, I can do it myself” kind of stuff. We know better. We won’t do it ourselves. We’ll stay off track. And then feel bad about ourselves. Again. Which makes it even harder to get back ON track. Sometime we never get back…

So just in case you’re waiting for it, here’s permission to ask for what you need. Hire an ADHD coach or a professional organizer. Join an ADHD support group — online or in person. Sign up for reminders from an appointments-online website. Whatever you need most, make it happen. Then, be grateful for the boost it gives you to make it all the way to DONE — the most beautiful word in the ADHD language!