It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Friday, October 16, 2009

More on Service Dogs

Sunday's service dog post had me pineing for a service dog again. I've been pineing for a service dog for the last decade. I'd never heard of service dogs, only seeing eye dogs, but then I saw a Dateline story and there was a little person who had a tiny dog that would do things like hop inside the dryer and grab clothes from the back cause, well, little people have short arms. "How COOL" I thought. Jokingly out loud I said "I want one!" But like really, what do I need a service dog for? I can open my own doors, grab my own laundry, stand up and flick my own light switch. A dog can't help me get awkward things out of the oven or hoist giant bags of dirty laundry onto my lap to take downstairs.

[image description: 4 service dogs around a wheelchair]

Strangely, not long after (in 9th grade) my physiatrist brought up the service dog discussion unprompted. Lists can be as long as 5 years if you don't have an emergent need and she suggested a dog would be helpful in college.

Says you: for what??? You just said you don't need any help.
Says me: to carry my books.
For reasons I'd rather not discuss putting my name on a list was a no go for my mom. People have suggested putting my name on a list behind her back cause I wouldn't have to deal with the ramifications for 5 years, but it's something I just cannot do.

A dog could carry heavy things for me, but I just put them on the back of the chair. A dog could give me much needed daily exercise, or I could be lazy and walk it in the chair. At the very least I'd have to get dressed and go outside daily. A dog could help me get up if I fall outside where there is no furniture to assist, but that doesn't happen often. A dog could help me up curbs, or I could just walk to a curb cut or lean on a random person's car. A dog could help me pick things up from the floor when I'm standing, or I could just sit down to grab it. I don't have an emergent need for a dog.

I'm not saying I don't need a dog, I need a dog desperately. Just not a trained service dog. I feel like I'd be wasting highly trained skills that someone else needs more. I need a dog because I'm very often mildly to moderately depressed. I wouldn't be depressed if I had a dog to come home to everyday. Anyone who's ever seen me with Oreo can vouch for that. He runs to the door even before I am there. He can hear me from the hall. He doesn't even let me sit or get my coat off before jumping on me. The second I sit on the couch he becomes glued to me. Who wouldn't feel better? I once had to have an incredibly difficult conversation and he calmed my nerves. When I was even more then moderately depressed, he stayed on the couch for hours while I practically layed on top of him (it was too much effort to even sit up). He just knew. If I ever got a service dog I'd have to get a big one to do more physical tasks. What I want is a small dog to curl up on my chest while I lay on the couch after a bad day or ride around on my lap in the chair. Oreo is 8lbs. Perfect.

This brings me to the topic of psychiatric service dogs. I don't have social anxiety, PTSD, or agoraphobia. I'm very rarely very depressed. When my panic attacks and nightmares start again it would be a g-d send to have a dog by my side, but that isn't all the time. I don't know what training for a psychiatric service dog is, what it entails. I don't know if I need one. My building allows cats but not dogs. There is a seeing eye dog that's lived here for years. It'd be illegal to deny one. I can't afford a dog, but Canine Assistants provides help for food and vet bills.

I pine for a dog.


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