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Service Dogs

Have you ever looked into service dogs or do you have one?  I'm starting to look into it after a conversation I had recently.  I've had it in the back of my mind for a while, but never thought seriously about it.  I have looked at service dog websites, but they usually list just a few conditions that they will train dogs for.  Those conditions vary slightly from site to site but usually include hearing impairment, visual impairment, seizure disorder, PTSD, and autism.  The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA states that a service dog is any dog that is trained to provide a task for a person that has a disability covered under the ADA.

I may qualify to get a service dog, but if not, I will get a companion dog.  I think I need someone or something to take care of, and could use some help taking care of me emotionally.  I've also always wanted another dog ever since my childhood dog died before I went to college.

What do you think about pets or service animals for disabled people?  Do you have a service animal?  Would you ever have one?  What service would it provide for you?

Comments

  1. I think a dog, service or companion, could be incredibly helpful. I think this is a great idea for all the reasons you mentioned above and a dog would be very lucky to have someone so loving as its owner!

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  2. I have a Maltese service dog. She is PTSD dog. When I was married my husband was abusive. He did not hit me but his mental, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse destroyed me. I stayed with him for 22 years before I got the courage to finally divorce him. When I filed for divorce he came home from work one day and attacked me. I was terrified and after my divorce was final he continued to harass me. By that time I was sure I was worthless, no one would ever want me, I had no reason to live. I tried to kill myself. I carved the words "I hate me" in my arm, took a bottle of pills and went to sleep. The next thing I knew the police broke in and I went to a hospital for 6 weeks. It is now 25 years later and I still have nightmares about him. I went through years of therapy but the only thing that helped was when I got my service dog. She literally saved my life and gave it a new meaning. If you have a disability that you think will be helped by a service dog the go and get one. As long as the dog can do tasks to help you in your every day life it is a legitimate service dog. My Princess can help me in more ways than you can imagine. She can bring my medication, she can alert me ahead of time if I am going to have a panic or anxiety attack, She can pull an emergency cord in my apartment to alert the office that I need help. (similar to the cord in a hospital) She is able to calm me if I am upset. She reminds me to take my medication, she does too many things to name. You do not have to spend thousands on training. I trained Princess myself. If you are able to train your own dog, you can. You just have to make sure your dog passes the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test and the Public Access Test. There are several websites that can help you with self training. Start with Basic obedience and go from there. I wish you the best of luck. A service dog must pass those two tests and be clean, well groomed. It must be obedient, never vicious and a service dog must be able to do some tasks that you can not do for yourself. If you can teach your dog that, then you have a service dog. Good luck.

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