Hi! Welcome to the group: old medhelp friends and new! I decided to start this group because my daughter is getting a service dog on 04/28/2012. We sought a service dog for her because she has autism. She is non-verbal, has trouble regulating her senses (ie self soothing) and with some fine motor skills. This concoction that life gave her sets her up for a whole host of emotional trouble. We want her to be self confident and always feel like she is special. We want her to have a special friend. Since she has trouble making friends her own age, a service dog is the logical next step. I've read many stories where a service dog helped a child with emotional health and speech. He's not a cure-all, but it's worth trying!
The dog we are getting is named Buzz. He is a 2 year old labradoodle. He has curly, black hair and does not shed. My daughter is so excited to meet him! I hope that someday anyone who has some sort of health issue who wants a service dog will be able to get one. Meanwhile we are seeing service dogs trained to do more and more things these days.
Right now there are service dogs provided for people suffering from autism, seizures, diabetes, blindness, deafness, allergies, asthma, depression, and the newest ones of all: endometriosis. I'm sure we'll see even more types of dogs as time goes and people are more aware of what service dogs can do. Maybe we'll even start to see even more service cats? I've heard of them, although they are more rare that dogs.
I've been doing a lot of research on service dogs recently and talked to trainers/breeders. I'm not an expert, but I'll try and answer any questions you have! What do you know about service dogs?
Service dogs are wonderful. They help people have a better quality of life. I know that the type of service your new dog will provide is service dog type one, which would mean the dog will go everywhere your daughter goes including restaurants. Service dog type two is still a service dog but they don't get to go to certain places. Some of my neighbors have service dog type two for emotional problems related to depression and anxiety. They can still go in grocery stores and drug stores and doctors offices. I think the only places they can't go are places like restaurants. The rules for other people petting a companion service animal (type 2) are more lax and depend on how the owners feel. The rules for the type of service dog you'll be getting, type 1, do need to be stricter because the dog needs to be able to focus on its job.
I did see a service companion cat that was leash trained. He was pretty awesome. One day he got injured on the bus, though, so after that he didn't want to go anywhere on the bus. Thankfully, the cat was able to heal from its injuries, but he wasn't willing to go on the bus any more after that.
After learning about what happened to the cat, I think that must be why fewer cats can be called a companion service animal. They are strong, but they are also more fragile than most dogs for this job.
I never heard of a service dog for Endometriosis. What types of work would a service dog for this illness do? Do they do things like fetching a cordless phone for the person in an emergency?
Good group Diva ...my bro is Blind and is getting a blind dog I will be interested to here how he gets on and any tips from here for him with a new dog .I too didnt realise they had dogs for anything other than the blind or deaf but it makes sense. I would think they would help with depression as long as the owners are capable of taking care of the dog and it wouldn't be neglected if they wernt coping ..
There are studies that have looked at the benefits of pets on people in general. A dog on a floor in a nursing home brings great joy and some homes will have resident dogs (I'm going to demand I bring my own or I'm not going! LOL). I think the love/bond of a dog will be wonderful. And a service trained dog is amazing. I'll be interested to hear how things go. Best wishes! What's the dogs name going to be? Do you know yet?
His name is Buzz. His current owners named him. We wanted to change his name to Rocco, but my DD has been calling him Buzz. So, we're gonna keep the name and call him Buzz Rocco! I can't wait to put up some pictures.
There are all sorts of specially trained service dogs. For example, someone with MS might have difficulty getting up to pick up the phone when it's ringing. A trained service dog can retrieve the phone for the person (provided the phone is a cordless). Dogs trained for people who need to stay in a wheelchair (multiple reasons for that) can be trained to hit the light switches for people. If the refrigerator has the kind of handle that a strong rope or cloth can be tied to, a dog can be trained to pull on that to open the door for the person in need. In fact, larger breed dogs have been known to open the newer models that don't have that kind of handle. UNTRAINED larger breed dogs have been known to raid the refrigerators and owners have had to resort to large chains and padlocks. Trained dogs are not going to do that. They are going to do what they need to do for their beloved owners.
Seeing eye dogs are trained NOT to bark. My friend's dog only barked once or twice when she was still around where I knew her. He had a good reason for barking. He was scaring off bad guys who might have hurt her. He was very protective of his sighted friends, too. Once when I was walking him (she had been ill), the dog saved me from being hurt or killed by a car that he perceived I didn't see that clearly came out of nowhere. I knew immediately what he did for me, so he got lots of positive reinforcement and hugs. My friend called this "informal guiding". I wasn't even the blind person he was helping, but he protected me. I loved him already before that happened, but I loved him all the more so after that happened. Other sighted friends who helped walk him for the lady who was blind but sick were also protected from bad guys. That seeing eye dog never growled either. He knew something was wrong with the guy that wanted to hurt a couple of the other sighted friends (we were all friends who knew each other). They talked about how he growled and the hair on the back of his neck raised and he barked like he meant it. It turned out that guy had bad intentions and the dog knew it. This without the guy so much as obviously holding out a knife. The dog knew something was wrong and ran the bad guy off just by his growling and fierce barking. This from a dog who took his training from Seeing Eye Dog in New Jersey very seriously and who never barked or growled. All of us loved that dog as much as the lady who owned him that he worked for.
I've heard of people with diabetes who had dogs trained to go grab a soda out of the refrigerator when their blood sugar gets low. The dogs also go grab the telephone. One such story was a woman who had started to go into diabetic shock. The dog did grab the phone for her. She doesn't remember calling 911, but she must have been barely conscious when she dialed but had passed out again. The medics were astonished. They couldn't believe what they saw when they arrived. On her lap was a pile of several cans of soda. The dog, not knowing what else to do, kept bringing her cans of soda. The medics asked her after she was conscious again how she got all that soda. She had to tell them that there would've been no way for her to do that. It had been her dog who did that. That dog saved her life so that she lived to tell that story.
I really enjoyed reading those stories, Furballsmom. To be honest another reason we really want a service dog is because of the fire our neighbors started in our apartment building last December. The fire alarms barely woke us up in time and our cats just hid. We're pretty sure a service dog would wake all of us up and stay with our DD if she were put in a dangerous situation. When you have a non-verbal, autistic child crisis situations are made even more dangerous! As her parents, we worry. A service dog just makes sense. (we had 2 more fire alarms added to our new apartment too!)
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