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StarTrekker
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08 Feb 2020, 8:49 pm

I'm applying to get a service dog, I'm really hoping to get one within the next year or so. It's something that I've been wanting for a long time, and I think it will go a long way towards reducing my anxiety when going out in public. I've asked to have the dog trained to give deep pressure, interrupt my self-injurious behaviours, block me in crowds, find help when I need it, and provide an excuse to get out of social situations if I'm getting overwhelmed. Do any of you have or know a service dog? What's it like?


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Last edited by StarTrekker on 08 Feb 2020, 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Spergl0rd
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08 Feb 2020, 9:57 pm

"Dear Elon,

This is what I want, but a robot.
A robot dog would be really cool.
Please and Thank you"


Oh, if it were this easy....



StarTrekker
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08 Feb 2020, 10:15 pm

Spergl0rd wrote:
"Dear Elon,

This is what I want, but a robot.
A robot dog would be really cool.
Please and Thank you"


Oh, if it were this easy....


I would love a robot service dog, that should totally be a thing! Maybe make it so it can collapse in on itself into a conveniently portable size, then pop out to full dog size when it senses you need it.


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Aspie With Attitude
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09 Feb 2020, 6:23 am



This is from one of my favourite autistic YouTube creator, he had done a lot of YouTube videos about having\owning a service dog and he talks about how great they are.


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JohnInWales
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09 Feb 2020, 9:03 am

StarTrekker wrote:
I would love a robot service dog, that should totally be a thing! Maybe make it so it can collapse in on itself into a conveniently portable size, then pop out to full dog size when it senses you need it.

I'm now curious to know what my real dog would make of a robot one :D . She's just an ordinary every day waste of space dog, but can be very empathetic at times, and when she's around I have to make the effort to stay calm as much as possible because she gets worried. When we're out and about, she's normally very calm and gentle, but I can't take her into most shops and other places where just having her there would be a help, so she has to stay at home.



wsmac
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09 Feb 2020, 12:56 pm

I don't have a service dog.
My experience with them has been mostly through bus driving and riders with them.
.
Just wanted to mention some things I think you'd probably come across anyway, but perhaps not.
.
For moving around in the world with a service animal, it's important to understand the distinction between a Service Animal (SA's) and an Emotional Support Animal (ESA's).
SA's have legal access to areas that ESA's do not. So be sure your future animal partner is a trained Service Animal... which it sounds like you are seeking anyway.
.
Check the actual guidelines/regulations/laws pertaining to both SA's and ESA's, so you can help uninformed or misinformed persons, understand your legal rights with your SA.
.
You cannot be asked about your disability. BUT... you can be asked what specific function your SA is trained for.
Most genuine SA's I have come across are well-trained, well-behaved, and well taken care of.
There are people out there with pets who claim it's an SA when it is not.
Had a guy claim his dog helped him see. The dog was on a 4-5ft rope lead and did the usual wandering dog walk when the two of them moved around town. Definitely was not trained as a Guide Dog for the blind!
Because of people like this, you may encounter resistance from shop owners, transit drivers, and others.
Hopefully most of the time you won't!
.
Friends of mine have a son who was visually impaired. When he was around 12 y.o. they traveled to Canada to a place that trained Guide Dogs. The whole family actually went and stayed there while the son matched up with a dog and trained/bonded.
Once they came home, you could tell the difference it made.
.
Wherever you are (I'm thinking you're in the U.S.?), check local regulations. Check your state regulations. Also look at the Federal reg's.
Whether it's housing concerns, access to public/municipal buildings, businesses, public transport... your Service Animal will have laws/regs to address that access for you and your companion!
.
Hope your search is fruitful! :D


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StarTrekker
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09 Feb 2020, 7:04 pm

Thanks Wsmac :D I've been working with a service dog group in my state since September, and after a lengthy introduction and interview process, as of yesterday they finally invited me to complete the official application. Given that they already know all about my disability and what I want a dog for, and they came out to visit my home to determine suitability, I think it's mostly a formality. I'm expecting to get the application this week, and I already have letters of recommendation from friends and several of my therapists lined up.


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AriaEclipse
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11 Feb 2020, 10:28 am

I'm trying to convince my family to allow me to get a dog that I would train to be a service/emotional support animal for myself. We already have two dogs and two cats, so we have a few pets already but I don't think I would be able to train any of them at this point to pass the tests required here to become certified as they all are older animals at this point and I don't think would respond well to the type of training they would need. I'm not an expert but I've heard from multiple sources that the waiting list to get a pre-trained service dog here is very long and you can train your own pet and I hope to do so someday. I think it would reduce my anxiety with going out in public too and help me out a lot.


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StarTrekker
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11 Feb 2020, 2:23 pm

AriaEclipse wrote:
I'm trying to convince my family to allow me to get a dog that I would train to be a service/emotional support animal for myself. We already have two dogs and two cats, so we have a few pets already but I don't think I would be able to train any of them at this point to pass the tests required here to become certified as they all are older animals at this point and I don't think would respond well to the type of training they would need. I'm not an expert but I've heard from multiple sources that the waiting list to get a pre-trained service dog here is very long and you can train your own pet and I hope to do so someday. I think it would reduce my anxiety with going out in public too and help me out a lot.


Yeah, I'm expecting to wait at least a year after I get on the waiting list to get my dog, it is a lengthy process. I hope you're able to get your dog, do you have dog training experience? What tasks would you want it to do for you?


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AriaEclipse
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11 Feb 2020, 4:27 pm

StarTrekker wrote:
AriaEclipse wrote:
I'm trying to convince my family to allow me to get a dog that I would train to be a service/emotional support animal for myself. We already have two dogs and two cats, so we have a few pets already but I don't think I would be able to train any of them at this point to pass the tests required here to become certified as they all are older animals at this point and I don't think would respond well to the type of training they would need. I'm not an expert but I've heard from multiple sources that the waiting list to get a pre-trained service dog here is very long and you can train your own pet and I hope to do so someday. I think it would reduce my anxiety with going out in public too and help me out a lot.


Yeah, I'm expecting to wait at least a year after I get on the waiting list to get my dog, it is a lengthy process. I hope you're able to get your dog, do you have dog training experience? What tasks would you want it to do for you?


I have some experience with animal training as I work as an animal caretaker currently but I also know a couple people who have said they are willing to assist me with training as well that have trained their own dogs. For tasks, I would ideally like a dog who could help when I have panic attacks (which happens a lot to me in public and also even at home) and if I have a seizure (which happens less often but is still a problem).


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StarTrekker
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11 Feb 2020, 6:17 pm

Cool, so something like deep pressure to help with the panic attacks? I’ve always wondered how seizure alert dogs were trained.


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AriaEclipse
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13 Feb 2020, 9:43 am

StarTrekker wrote:
Cool, so something like deep pressure to help with the panic attacks? I’ve always wondered how seizure alert dogs were trained.


Yes, I'm not sure exactly how all the training works, especially for the seizure stuff but my mom and I know a couple people who said they can both help us and put us in touch with others who can help out.


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wsmac
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13 Feb 2020, 5:29 pm

StarTrekker, thanks for your reply.
Glad to hear things are moving along!
:)


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dragonsanddemons
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14 Feb 2020, 7:12 pm

I have a service dog who does similar things. I'm very prone to shutdowns in public places like restaurants and grocery stores, and I find that just having Merlin (my dog) with me helps ground me so I'm less likely to shut down. He also is trained to perform pressure tasks when I need him to ("hug" where he'll put his front paws on my shoulders (he's a standard poodle, he's pretty big), "up" where he puts his front paws in my lap, "lap" where he rests his head in my lap, and we're working on coming up with something to get him to lie down on my feet), and that is helpful for anxiety and preventing shutdowns.

I will warn you, odds are you'll get a lot of people commenting on how cute/pretty/handsome your dog is, or just gasping and saying "It's a dog!" like they've never seen one before, and wanting to pet your dog (if you're lucky they ask first, although there have been a couple times where I'm busy with something and then turn around to find a complete stranger petting Merlin). I've even had a couple people try to whistle or bark at Merlin to get his attention. I'm now very accustomed to just saying "thanks" and moving along if someone compliments him or saying "Please don't distract my dog, he's working right now" if people are trying to pet him or make noises at him.

But when Merlin is not out working, he gets to just be a regular dog. This is why when I am seriously looking into getting my own place, I will really just be looking at pet-friendly apartments, because non-pet-friendly places may be legally required to let me have Merlin, but in his off time he will be acting just like a pet dog. He barks, he chews on squeaky toys, he stampedes down the stairs like a herd of elephants, and on occasion he throws up on the carpet - I don't want any neighbors (or the landlord) to resent us or accuse Merlin of not being legitimate because of any of that, and it's really not fair of me to not let him talk or play. So I figure it will cause the least fuss if I choose a place where people should be expecting things like that.


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15 Feb 2020, 8:17 am

My sister has a shih tzu and he has helped her a lot, she's bipolar with ptsd. There is a routine, she gets outside regularly, she gets to cuddle, he helps with the loneliness. And warning - everyone likes a dog and people are going to talk to you, you can't avoid it! But this is a good thing because with time you will be less anxious around others.
I recommend a puppy then both of you take obedience classes. So if you're ok with making a long term commitment go for it! Having a service dog has made my sister's life so much better :D