Question - do you use a service dog?

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I am posting a link that you should check out. As far as these types of dogs being official YES THEY ARE. According to the ADA any person with a disableing physical or mental disability that uses a dog for assistance can not be denyed access to ANY public place. Of course it does help if you get them tested by say the Delta Society, or some other service dog org. but it is NOT NESSECARY. This can give you a broader picture as to what your dog can do for them to qualify them as a service dog. Now I am not saying you just strap a harness on your dog or a backpack and hope things work out. This is something you really have to work at with them. There is also a set of either books or video's I choose the video's because what I read does not stick so if I watch the video I can at least grasp some of the concept. They are called Teamwork and Teamwork 2, they are written specificly for handicapped either by mental or physical individuals, so that they can train their own dogs. The waiting lists are very long and the cost and yes some places do charge, can be way out of reach, so this is a way to provide the independance for those who can benefit from a dog and also give them a sense of usefulness. I was not sure if I could still do this or not, and especially for myself but things are coming along slowly but doing this does help me. Check out the site and do a search for those video's of you are interested in doing this for yourself. Again I will be more than willing to answer any questions anyone might have.

That is so neat!! I'm going to try and teach Cougie the alarm clock one!! I never wake up to it, but Cougie wakes me all the time!!

I believe that is some very excellent information provided by yourself Ann. I can see huge benefits to the suffer with this help from the dog. Thank you. In the same breath though, I would also say that this too me is also only a bandaid, in that the use of a service dog in this situation would be warranted whilst you heal / to help you heal, but not a long term solution. I can see that a person could soon become dependant upon a dog to help them through life, and use this as an excuse to never tackle their trauma head on and live life without the need of a service dog, medications and panic attacks by simple and effective learning / coping strategies.
That is very true Anthony, and well put. Anything IMHO other than just the persons true determination to work on the long term healing by therapy, meds (if they help) and facing the trauma head on, mostly facing things and learning new ways to deal with them are the best. I know for myself even though only not quite a year into this, meds just do not have enough of a benefit to continue with them, so I went this route. Long term use of Brody porbably not but right now the comfort of having him with me and to provide the assistance that he does makes my stressing going out in public ALONE alot less. For me looking into the future and knowing where I will be is useless, I just take this one day at a time, just like 12 step program. I am determined to have a life again. So yes what you stated is a very valid point.
Ann, I think your going to recover just fine from your trauma and learn to manage PTSD, because your logic and focus is exactly that of what is needed for recovery. Bandaids are good realistically, because we all need them at some point to help us heal, though once we heal, we remove the bandaids. I think the dog though would be great, because not only do you have an aid during the healing process, you then have a great friend at the end to continue loving and getting love from.
Thank You Anthony I sure hope someday I can recover. I think at times PTSD will rear it's ugly head even when I THINK I have put it away and dealt with it. With me the other issues are actually the ones that will never heal. Today is a good day for me I feel rested, and you know some of my FIGHT is coming back:boxing: :boxing: The journey is long for me but what I have learned so far and even before this happened is that if you HOLD ON TIGHT to the things YOU CAN DO, and let go of the things you can't it opens you up to so much more. I am lucky because I have GREAT DOCTORS, my therapist well I DON'T KNOW ABOUT HER YET, I had to switch mid treatment because I lost my medical insurance so now I have to go to a county funded agency, not to my liking but I guess some talk therapy is better than none. My first therapist was truly AWSOME so at least she did open the flood gates so I could start releasing some of this CRAP!!!!!! I guess to I keep looking back at what I have accomplished with helping woman learn to overcome being battered, victims etc... I am a Black Belt instructor and ran Self Defense clinics at different Abuse shelters for many years. My shrink keeps telling me to just take is slow because oh yes I WANT THIS OVER, I WANT IT GONE, but he said it takes time and of course with the other medical issues it is going to take me longer. BUT IT WILL HAPPPEN SEE being off meds alows me to think and feel something I really need to do that I do not need to be numb all the time I WANT TO FEEL WHAT IS GOING ON so I can GET RID OF IT. And that means even if I am taking the longer harder road I was never one to take the easy way, I want to feel like I worked for it. I KNOW TYPICAL OVER ACHEIVER ATTITUDE:wink:
Do you realise, that when you said your a black belt, that is what is actually saving you now? The reason I say that, as I am one also from years ago when I used to train hard, is that martial arts is about the mind, and whether you know that at the time or not, that is exactly what its about. It is to build mental toughness, one's ability to process logically, to see past just pain and to the options. I think that has a lot to do with why your doing so well actually, and why you will recover quite quickly compared to others who are more battered without that experience. I personally believe my martial arts training has helped me immensely to deal with my trauma, and help me learn management of PTSD itself.
Yes I do believe that martial arts training has assisted me in someway, I just need to find that part of me again. I know there are so many more out there some on this forum who suffer so much more than I do with the PTSD, and I would never wish this affliction on ANYONE. Each day does bring some steps forward, and then again some steps back. What I am trying to work towards is the forward motion with no backward slides that is the hard part. That is why I am so very glad I found this forum to share to whine when I have to and to offer and get support when I need it.
I had a service dog. He passed away last year. Loki was great. I trained him myself with the help of a dog training program out here called Pawsabilities. They offer training from everything from basic obedience to agility to service dogs (service dog training is free with obedience).
Loki was part Austrailian Cattle Dog and part pit bull. He was a stray who was thrown out of a car on the freeway. Having him was a blessing. At that time I could barely leave my house. The panic attacks were worse because I am deaf in my left ear. I could not hear people walk up behind me or beside me. It really freaked me out.
He was the coolest dog. I always knew I was safe with him. He would always let me know when I was going to have a panic attack and he could usually pull me out of one. If not he could be counted on to give me an excuse to get out of a room. Loki also let me know when I was going to have migrane headaches (which was a bonus because mine come on suddenly). Loki could open doors, call 911, he was my security system, and he could read people like I have never seen.
One of the coolest things I ever saw him do was when we were getting on the bus one day. The usual routine on the bus was that he would wait for me while I was paying and then go crawl under a seat. But this one day we got on the bus and he immediatly went up to this guy who was sitting in the first seat. He started sniffing and gently pawing at his knee. Then he started to whine and cry. I apologised all over the place, he had never acted like that before and as a service dog was not supposed to act like that.
A couple of weeks later we got on the same bus and there was the same guy. He said that after Loki went crazy on his knee he had gone to the doctor (had been having problems but thought it was nothing). Doctor said he had cancer. He said that he would not have gone to the doctor except for Loki. But because of him it was caught early enough that he was probably not going to lose his leg.
Anyway, now I have Jerron. She is a Border Collie/Lab Mix. Very smart. I am considering training her as a service dog but have not made up my mind on that one yet.
Loki sounded like ONE HECK OF A DOG. I find it so amazing what dogs can do for us and you know sometimes I do not think we give them enough credit. I will share a story with you that is very touching at least to me anyway LOL. I had a siberian husky named Blade I got him for my 5th aniversary as a present from my hubby. He was an AWFUL puppy LOL, but turned out to be a wonderful freind. I have always been a dog trainer and always tried to offer service dog training to people that needed it at no cost to them, I wanted to show how a SNOW DOG could make a great helper. He learned all the tasks very quickly but we mostly were doing threapy work and one day at the nursing home I worked in I had him with me. Blade got very excited over a particular woman not typical of him, well he would not leave her alone he kept tugging at her sleeve and I was trying to stop him, well he tugged until he got her to sit on the floor, sure enough with in seconds she had a seizure he layed there by her and was barking or should I say WOO WOOING Sibes don't really bark LOL, untill someone other than me came. It shocked me I would have never guessed he could have done that. Blade unfortunatly died in 2004 because of his love for people someone felt the need to show him not all People are kind. I will not go into detail. I miss him very much.
I call my greyhound Strategy (affectionally called Snoopy) my furry Buddha of love. He comes up to me when I am about to or am having an attack. He watches me very closely. Lets me cuddle with him when I am having a hard time. Let's me cry on him. HE is such a comfort. I would be lost without him. He and I are alike. We are reserved, but can love deeply, but we don't wear our heart on our sleeve. We have a connection that goes beyound words or logic. It's spiritual actually. My other greyhound, Hannah has actually helped me be more affectionate and emotionally vulnerable. Sometimes I can't be around them when I am really really wound up, irritated or angry for whatever reason. I love them enough to know when to keep them away from me.

They are both 5 years old
I have a dog that I would LOVE to train to be a service dog.
He already does most of the things already: comforts me, allows me to drive for errands, nudges and encourages me to get up when I'm depressed, braces his body for me to pull myself up, braces and stands so I can lightly sit on his rump and regain my energy during walks, brings me things, watches the front door, runs through my house on voice command to check for intruders...
I've already managed to teach him to open the fridge since I read this thread, he's eager to learn and "help his mommy". :)

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