This transcript is for the captioned video found here.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Sharon uses American Sign Language periodically throughout the video, usually to communicate to Gadget, generally speaking simultaneous with signing (known as “sim-com”). When sim-com is used, parentheses follow the spoken text, with “ASL:” followed by the English translation for the signed words.

Sharon uses a clicker to mark correct behavior. The sound of the clicker is denoted: [Click!]

Sharon’s partner, Betsy, sometimes acts as Gadget’s “voice,” from off-screen, behind the camera. This dialogue is preceded by Gadget’s name in quotation marks, followed by a colon (“GADGET”:).

End of Transcriber’s Note. Beginning of Video Description.

Sharon sits in her powerchair, facing down a hall. She turns to address the camera.

SHARON: At the end of the day, when we’re getting read to go to bed, Gadget helps me shut off the lights and open and shut the doors.

She moves down the hall and stops at a corner. She turns to Gadget, a large, gray dog who has followed behind her. She speaks quietly to him. His ears are perked, and he watches her face.

SHARON: Gadget, living room, dark. (ASL: Living, dark.)

Gadget trots eagerly back down the hall and uses his nose to move something on the wall. The lights go out in the living room where he’s standing.


Gadget trots back to Sharon for his treat.

SHARON: Good boy!

Scene change. Sharon faces the camera further down the hall.

SHARON: And then, um, Gadget can help me open and shut the doors.

Gadget is wandering around in the living room behind her. Sharon moves forward and takes a right in the hall. There are doors to her right, left, and in front of her. She calls Gadget, not realizing he started following her chair when he heard it move.

SHARON: Hey Gadg.

Gadget appears on Sharon’s left.

SHARON: Good boy. Open the door! (ASL: Open door, that one.)

Gadget moves around Sharon and grasps an olive-green pull cord made of nylon webbing that hangs from the end of a chrome door handle. There is a knot at the bottom of the cord for Gadget to grip onto. He pulls the cord down and backs up, pulling repeatedly to get the mechanism to release. Then, still holding the cord down, he moves forward and nudges the door with his nose. The door swings open into the room, away from the hall.


Gadget turns to Sharon.

SHARON: Thank you! Inside. (ASL: There.)

Sharon and Gadget move into Sharon’s bedroom. Sharon parks her chair parallel to her bed, which is a double bed with a red comforter and red pillow-cases.

SHARON: And then, when it’s time for me to go to bed . . .

Gadget moves forward, standing in front of Sharon’s knees. Sharon places her hand on the back of his neck, between his shoulder blades. Gadget stands still, and Sharon pivot-transfers onto the bed, using a very light touch on Gadget to help her steady herself.

SHARON (lying on the bed): . . . Gadget can shut off the lights, too.

SHARON (to Gadget): Gadget, dark. (ASL: Dark)

Gadget goes to the wall switch and turns the light off. Sharon is late delivering her click, so Gadget turns the lights back on.


Giggling is heard off-camera.

SHARON: Oop, try again. Dark. (ASL: Dark)

Gadget turns the lights off.


Scene change. Sharon is lying on the bed, as if asleep. Gadget is lying on the floor next to the bed, napping.

There is a faint, distant sound of an oven timer beeping. Gadget jumps up and starts running down the hall.

“GADGET”: Oh my god! It’s the, it’s the, uh, the oven.

The sound of the beeper becomes louder. Gadget arrives at a counter outside the kitchen.

“GADGET”: Mom’s asleep, and something’s in the oven. Oh my god! I have to remind her.

He turns and looks at the camera in confusion as the running commentary of his “thoughts” continues.

“GADGET”: I get a squeaky ball. I get it, and I go….

He finally decides to ignore the voice-over and grabs an orange plush, egg-shaped ball, a little smaller than a tennis ball, from a pile of them in a dish on the floor.

“GADGET”: It’s in the oven, her dinner, it could burn. Get the squeaky ball.

Gadget trots back to Sharon’s room with the ball in his mouth. Scraping sounds and slapping feet are audible behind him, and a long extension cord for the camera drags in and out of the picture.

“GADGET”: I have to go, I have to go squeak it at her. And I have to wake her up now.

Sharon has her eyes shut and is lying still. Gadget nudges her arm with the ball. When she doesn’t “wake up,” he turns and looks at the camera, with the ball in his mouth, apparently trying to alert Betsy. He stands staring at her for a few moments.

“GADGET”: Mom! mom! You forgot the dinner’s in the oven. Wake up, wake up! Squeak squeak.

Eventually Gadget returns to Sharon and starts nudging her arm repeatedly with the ball.

Sharon “wakes up.”

SHARON: What what? Oh. Oh?

“GADGET”: Dinner’s in the oven. You forgot.

SHARON: Thank you!

“GADGET”: Alright!

Change of scene. Sharon sits in a small kitchen, counters behind and in front of her, a refrigerator behind her. She holds out her hand for a “touch,” from Gadget, and then gives him the cue for sit.

“GADGET”: OK, sometimes Mom needs me to bring the groceries in from the car.

SHARON: (Addressing Gadget, who makes eye contact, continuing to look in her face until she gives him a command) You’ve already brought them in all the way to ramp, haven’t you?

“GADGET”: Yes, I have. I dropped them outside the front door.

SHARON: OK, wanna open the door? Out. Open the door. (ASL: Open door, there, outside.)

Gadget runs out of the kitchen, through the living room to a heavy, metal door, painted white. It has the same olive nylon pull cord on a lever as the other doors in the house.

“GADGET”: This is my favorite thing to do. Let myself out.

He opens the door right away, which opens inward, by pulling the cord down and backing up. He peers outside. We see snow on a metal ramp. There is a white canvas bag sitting on the ramp. He looks back at Sharon.

SHARON: Get the bag. Outside. Get the bag.

Gadget goes outside and returns with the bag. Sharon, who can’t see him, has told him, “Take,” when he went outside. He runs with the bag toward Sharon.

SHARON: Good boy. To the fridge. Come here.

Gadget stops and runs back to the door with the bag in his mouth. He drops it in front of the door, seems to think for a second, then tries to bat the door shut with one paw and then with both. It’s a heavy door; it shuts but doesn’t latch.

“GADGET”: It’s important to conserve electricity.

Gadget opens the door again.

“GADGET”: …And open the door.

Then he jumps up on his hind legs and slams the door shut with his front paws.

“GADGET”: …And shut the door.

SHARON: Thank you! Good boy

Gadget runs back to Sharon. The bag is still on the door mat, inside.

SHARON: Okay, get the bag!

Gadget runs back and slides into the bag, clearly having a great time, picks it up and runs toward Sharon.

SHARON: Good boy.

Gadget decides to run back to the door with the bag in his mouth.

SHARON: C’mere. Take it to the fridge.

He runs back to the kitchen, behind Sharon’s chair, and drops the bag in front of the refrigerator.


SHARON: Thank you!

Gadget licks his lips and stands expectantly in front of her.

Change of scene. Sharon and Gadget sit in front of an extra-large wire dog crate. There is a large metal can sitting on the corner of the crate behind Sharon.

Gadget stares at Sharon with tremendous concentration.

“GADGET”: My mom has taught me a lot of cool things, but my favorite thing of all that she’s taught me is fetching my food dish.

SHARON: Do you want to eat?

At the word, “eat,” Gadget cocks his head to the side.

SHARON: Fetch your dish. (ASL: Bowl)

Gadget stands up and turns around. There are three stainless steel bowls on a black boot tray. He picks up one in the back and puts it in Sharon’s right hand.

SHARON: Thank you!

Sharon picks up the can and pours the contents, kibble, into the bowl. Gadget backs up.

SHARON: Good dog!

She moves forward, and Gadget squeezes behind her chair to turn around. When Sharon is sitting in front of the tray, Gadget sits down next to her, watching expectantly.

“GADGET”: Even when she puts it down, I’m not allowed to get it until she tells me I can.

Sharon puts the dish on the tray and backs up. Gadget holds his sit.

SHARON: Good boy. Release!

At “release,” Gadget goes for the dish and starts eating.

“GADGET”: Woo hoo! The best part of the day!

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