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service dogs?


luckygoat3
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i was just wondering if anyone has a service dog? I am looking into it as my mother doesn't want me to travel anywhere more than an hour away by myself. she fears if something would happen no one will have a clue what to do, i am also looking into a bracelet (which i probably will get in a month or so). Plus i think she has a lot of nagging "what ifs".

susie

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Hi, for a long time I was scared to leave my house. I really wouldn't go anywhere unless someone was with me. I still do get nervous about venturing out by myself, but I bring my cell phone along with me. Do you have one? If not maybe you could look into getting one.

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Hi, I'm not sure what cell phone service you go through. The cell phone company I go through, you can call and ask for them to set up E-911 (enhanced 911 system, it can track where you are through your cell phone). Even if you are unable to talk they can still trace to where you are.

Jacquie

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jacquie - the shortfall with the cell phone system is that you still have to be able to make the initial call. still, obviously a good thing to have :(

susie, lauren, et al -

re: service dogs, i did some looking into it last year and founs several organizations that were definitely not limited by a particular condition/diagnosis/limitation. my interest was initially peaked after reading an article about someone with dystonia who has one.

the process, though, is generally quite long & gruelling as the person has to be trained in addition to the animal. and often there are long waiting lists, particularly for the organizations wherein a good amount of the funding is covered (as opposed to ones where you pay &/or raise the money yourself).

i know i saved the links on my computer but i have so many saved that it's still a feat to track them down. so...i'm going to have to make you gals wait it out a few days until my friend leaves town.

do feel free to bug me though if i haven't gotten back to you by mid week (just in case i forget).

:) melissa

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hmm.. good topic.. my mom told me about tis show she saw on animal planet.. about t is women who had seizures.. that the dog could sense then coming even before the women could sense them.. pretty mazing.. dont remerb the whole story only that the dog some how saved this women life..

my mom wants me to look into getting one of these dogs.. but dont quite know where to lookinto getting one.. melisssa if you find the links let us know!

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I'm missing how a guide dog would help somebody with POTS. Just thinking about how and why they are traditionally they are used for somebody that are blind, deaf, etc. If you have other major health issues, that I am not picking up on, than it might be good. If you have an episode a medical alert bracelet would be much better. Along with having your medical allergies, what to do for you, who to call, etc. in your wallet.

It takes years of training for a dog to be ready to help somebody. They go through rigorous training from the time they are a puppy. To me, these dogs go to people that are far more debilitated than the majority of the folks on this forum. Only two people come to my mind on here that are so sick, and unable to function that they would need a dog. i.e. they are homebound, alone, faint, go into a seizure, etc. Than the dog could call 911 for them. Also, helping the person with daily things, getting things for them etc, that they are not capable of doing the majority of the time, because they would likely end up unconscious.

Just my own thoughts, not meaning to go against what you all are saying. I am just looking at this from a bit of a different view.

On another note...you can actually get a miniature horse instead of a guide dog these days. They work really well, live longer, etc, etc.

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just a idea. we have a mutt my son saw being abused, comfruted the onwer and said give me the dog or i call the police ,well we got the dog ,and she was a handful at first,living tied to a tree with the rope too short to lay down or on food add taken it toll.but with the help from sisca training class and ALOT OF LOVE AND TIME she are lizzy 125 pound mutt .

too the point lizzy is so intuned to the faimly .if iam have a good day she will do her own thing . if bad day she fallows me EVEWER.i push myself to do things and ingner the sings most of the times but lizzy and in husband can tell most of time before I can when i am goimg to crach, the dog with darck and tugg at me to sit with her hubby says she does it when i get pail.if i pass out hubby says she darks and crys and pushs me on my side we have never trainer sher for this but she just must has seen it alot .

we take sher for walks daily for sher wait she stop alot and looks up and me then at hubby i think just thank you.

any dog with love can guide and respet

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Melissa, thanks for offering the link. I look forward to reading more, and finding out if a service dog would be a wise choice for me.

Blackbird, I would caution you against judging the capacity of the people on this forum. I, for one, am sick enough to require almost constant care, and I'm sure there are many others on the forum who are in the same position. But no hard feelings :)

I'm off to Vandy, talk to you guys next week :)

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This is a wonderful topic, thank you for raising the question.

I have two dogs that are a TREMENDOUS help to me, and I often wonder how I could get them 'certified' so that I can take them more places with me.

I tend to only take one out at a time, since I can't really handle two at once. But they help me steady myself when I walk ... I hold on to her neck when going up stairs. She walks REALLY slow with me, checking to make sure I am still coming along and that she is not going too fast.

When I am having a flaire at work, she sits with me and just BREATHS which can be a great help.

If my hands are shaking (which happens often!) -- she comes by and rests her head under my hand. Might as well put that hand shaking to good use with a good head scratch!

And as we all know they are terrific bed companions on those days when we are totally in the potshole!!

I'd love to be able to take her everywhere.

Good luck to all on your healing journey!

EM

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I think it could definately help. Even if the Dog could just sit by you it would be such a major comfort. Of course they could also be handy in biting psychiatrists that are sent to evaluate you. Lol.

I think it is a great idea. So much of my battle at times is feeling safe. I know this disorder wont kill me but safety is a big issue. Like passing out at a bus stop in downtown....

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What a great site. Did anyone see the Oprah show about heroes? A handicapped /wheelchair gal in Spokane, my home town, fell out of her chair with seizures. She said the dog had been very clingy, which means he sensed one coming.

The dog brought her the phone but she had knocked herself out and was unconscious, having seizures. So the DOG pressed 911 and barked continuously, then went and unlocked the door, then went and stayed with her owner till the ambulance got there! Incredible.

My dog seems to sense when I don't feel well. She gets very clingy and weird. So who knows. I know I would appreciate a dog calling for help if I fell and really hurt myself...morgan

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I think that a dog... even if its not a serivce dog is a good idea for people who are sick.. b/c animals can sense before we can that.. that we are not well.. they sense it... I know my cat.. gets very very clingy when i am moderately to severely(cant move) sympotmatic.. and she will stay with me.. once when I passed out on the kitchen floor.. and was having paralyse during my syncope.. couldnt move or talk.. and the cat (Zena) meowed in my face and was licking my cheeck till I was able to crawl to the couch...

though I have thought about getting a dog.. I also thought.. how would i care for the dog when I cant get up for days at a time? what if she/he had to go to the bathroom and I couldnt let him/her out or walk the dog?

I say this only b/c I live/lived alone.. am alone most of the time.. and would be sole caretaker for the dog or any animal..

but i agree that a service dog would be helpful for POTSY people.. :(

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Hi, I also think that if you can afford it, a dog/cat would be great, but you also have to make sure you can take of him/her as well as any vet bills, which an be costly.

I have a cat, Lucy Coco and every time I am sick she comes to lay down next to me. Also, whenever an ambulance came she would sit with me while my uncle (EMT/firefighter) and the rest of the ambulance crew came in before transporting me and then would run to the window as I went off to the hospital.

So, I think animals in general are good to have. If you can afford a service animal I say go for it. :(

Jacquie

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I think a dog is a major asset to a homebound person. I have a toy poodle, she is very very smart! She is very energetic and fun to play with, but I am feeling bad (migraine, nausea, very low b/p), she cuddles up and looks so concerned, she just stays pushed against me and loves on me, which makes me feel so comforted.

I have a friend that trains service dogs. I know she finds out about a particular client first (if they're blind, in a wheelchair, what they need a dog to do) and she spends every day with a dog, for a long period of time, training the dog specifically for those tasks. And she teaches the dogs commands that the client would be able to do (ie, a paralyzed person or stroke victim might not be able to use both hands for a command signal, they may have limited movements, so my friend has to be aware of that and train the dog accordingly). It's really an amazing job, and those service dogs do wonderfully things for people in need!

I'm sure a service dog would be a help for a person with OI. I can think of many times I have wished my dog would be able to follow a command like "bring me my water bottle" or "bring me the phone" or stuff like that when I am totally unable to get upright and move.

On the other hand, dogs do require care. They need to be bathed and taken to the vet, they need to be given medicines sometimes, and they need go outside to do their business! They also need to run and play and stay healthy. It helps that my husband is around to do these things when I am unable, but it's something to majorly consider when you get a dog. I personally find the inconvenience (letting my dog out to go potty when I am unable to stand up, I just sit by the door on the floor and let her out on a long lead) a small problem since the love and affection are so wonderful and priceless and unconditional. :(

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I already have a dog, but he isn't the people dog type....i mean the vet is even afraid of him, and of course he knows me when i feel like crap but he is kinda hyper. plus he kinda smells...coon dog. :( anyways when i move out, i will need a companion which is why a service dog or at least if i could train the puppy with the guidance of someone would be helpful. Also the college scene i am thinking the "what if's", it's not always healthy to think that way but i am trying to be real.

anyways any links would be helpful,

susie

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Hi,

I have not posted in a very long time. Just was informed about the service dog thread today. So I have to reply!!! I have POTS and also have a kennel where I breed our own dogs and train them for service work. I started this organization about 7 years ago. I was not as sick then as I am today, but still have it in operation. It has been interesting to read everyone veiw on a service dog.

Unfortuanatly most organizations have a waiting list that will keep you waiting for ever. Also if you are "not sick" enough they will hold you off.

Its a big misunderstanding what a service dog can really do for anyone who feels they are in need of one. We do not turn anyone away. You can have something as what one may consider a "minor" illness such as a phobia or you can have a major one. A service dog provides a service, it can be any service as long as it is helping their partner with what that person needs. I myself have a service dog. I have pushed my self to my limits shopping one day and started stumbling and looked like I was drunk, my speach slurred and I was asking for help. People thought I was drunk. I dont even drink! No one helped me!! I stumbled to my car, feel on the seat and called my husband, he called an ambulance. I had a TIA stroke. So yes cell phones are great IF you can make the call, but what if I couldn't? No one was willing to help. But when I have my service dog with me, people automatically know I have a disability of some sort and if I need assistance are more willing to help, if I stumble I am not looked at as if I was drunk when my service dog is with me. My medical conditions are in the vest along with what i am allergic too, who to contact and how to treat me until i am in the arms of some one who knows about pots. So yes anyone as minor or major can benafit froma servcie dog!

You can check out the Snowflake Foundation at www.richlandacres.com if you would like to. Anyone serious in looking for a service dog may contact me, but please keep in mind we are a small organization and our trainers are limited.

I will be happy to answer anyones questions on a service dog.

I hope to be able to be more active with this group and posting.

Brenda R. :(:)

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I think it's a great idea! I have a little chocolate chihuahua, and she really does look after me. I have fairly frequent fainting episodes, and usually come around with her licking my face.

After reading this topic, I thought I would give her a little test to see what she would do if I didn't come around - when she wasn't looking I laid on the ground with my eyes shut - she quickly came running in and started to frantically lick my face and nudge my head - then she stood on my chest and barked as loud as she could - then ran outside and barked at the top of her little voice to the neighbours - when she did that I went and gave her a treat and a cuddle.

So, apart from the fact that she is my best friend and looks after me (lets me know when it's time for me to go to bed, wakes me up in the morning and pulls the covers off the bed), I have complete faith in her that if I ever did faint and god forbid knock myself out - she would quickly raise the alarm.

She amazes me, she seems to know if something isn't right with me. If I have a headache, she likes sniffs my eyes and then gently licks my eyelids and then falls asleep either on me or beside me. I don't know how she knows that I have a headache, or especially the fact that the seem to come from my eyes.

Even when she was a really little puppy, and we went to puppy school, they were amazed at how attached to me she was, and espcially how protective of me she was and still is.

I should look into seeing if I can get her registered in some way, so that she can be with me all the time, that would be a real treat for me (and her!).

She's my little gaurdian angel. Little Chynna, the Chocolate Chihuahua!

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Thanks Brenda for the info, i may be contacting in the near future, just have to convince my parents, who always worry about everything as most parents do.

a couple ?'s tho, what kind of dog do you have for the service dog, and does it matter what breed one has for a service dog, mostly i have seen labs or mixs of them.

thanks susie

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I tried to post last night but I see it did not go through. I have an organization where we train service dogs and they are used for many different reasons. I myself have POTS and have a service dog of my own. Many organization feel you have to be very ill before you are even considered for a service dog. We do not feel that way. Our dogs are trained to help those with phobias all the way to one who is very disabled. It dose not matter to us the task that is requested for the servcie to be preformed. I feel more comfortable having my servcie dog carry all of my medical information. I had a bad episode in a store once and was stumbling around and no one helped me, I think they thought I was drunk. I mangaed to get to my car lie down and called my husband who called an ambulance. I had a TIA stroke. From then on I knew I would have a servcie dog so people were clued in to helping me if I need it. So a servcie dog can preform many things not just for wheel chair bound. If anyone would like more info feel free to e-mail me.

I love my servcie dog and now have much more independence going out shopping and such.

Brenda R.

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I am really enjoying this thread!

I checked out the Richland Acres sight right away and so did my mom.

I do not necessarily need a service dog...but I do really want a dog that can handle the POTS.

We are in a very tough situation. I LOVE dogs, LOVE having a dog and get so lonely without one, as I am completely homebound. And spend most of my time just resting.

As most of you know we have Asher, who we adopted about four years ago. He was a rescue dog and has a lot of anxiety problems. We thought it was just separation anxiety b/c of his history of being transferred and not feeling 'safe'...

However, in the past year as my health has worsened dramatically (after the surgery) his behavior has gotten almost unbearable.

He is clearly anxious about ME and what is going and his way of dealing with it is to bark ALL of the time at every little move or anything involving me. He is on high, high alert and we can't calm him down.

We have talked to the rescue group who we got him from, the vet, a trainer, etc. and they have suggested that the anxiety is really hard on him and he is stressed about my illness.

When he goes to my dad's house to stay there, he is calm and fine. He hardly barks at all. So, it is clear that this environment is stressful for me.

We were told that it is not fair to keep him in this environment.

I feel like the most horrible person if we surrender him. However, there are families waiting for a Wheaten rescue who want to adopt. We were told we would not have a problem finding him a home.

Still, I feel like I am betraying HIM b/c he is doing this behavior out of love! Poor guy.

Most of you posted stories about your dogs sensing your illness and reacting in positive ways...

but HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD A PET TRAUMATIZED BY THIS???

and How did you deal with it?

Richland Acres is very appealing b/c it provides a dog that is already trained and ready to come into a situation like mine. I am afraid that we cannot give a puppy the TRAINING that it needs and don't know how to find a dog that can 'handle' the POTS stuff. (I don't even faint,but he just senses something is wrong)

He absolutely panics when I call for my mom, when I buzz the intercom system, when I throw up, etc...

It is so painful for me to think of this whole thing with Asher....

Thanks for listening....

Emily

P.S. Morgan, I think the dog you were talking about was also awarded an AKC Service Award during the Eukanuba Dog Show this past weekend.

Richland Acres...

Your site is very impressive and what you do is very impressive! Thanks!

Emily

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