To what do I attribute my growth and coping skills? In large part. I credit the unconditional love and support I received from my sweet Springer Spaniel, Lily. In September Lily died at age 13. With her big, understanding, brown eyes, Lily was my Emotional Support dog and since she’s been gone, I’ve just been lost, like missing a part of me. It feels like one of my limbs has been missing. She was the softest dog. I was constantly touching her and not just because doing so helped with my constant anxiety. There was nothing more heartwarming than when she looked at me with her big brown eyes. Lily was truly my helper in life. She eased my anxiety immensely. Her mere presence could reduce the length or intensity of a panic attack. Walking her helped me leave the house and exercise each day. This helped combat my ongoing lower back pain.
In my attempt to live as independent a life as possible, I am now seeking not just an Emotional Support dog but a Service Dog. The reason why I want to train a Service dog over an Emotional Support Dog is because a Service dog can be trained to perform tasks that could better assist me with my bipolar depression and panic disorder. This website has taught me a lot about psychiatric service dogs. https://www.power2u.org/alternatives2010/downloads/PSDSpresentation.pdf I learned that the general recommendation is to get a puppy and use a trainer instead of an agency that trains a dog for the client. In the instance of a psychiatric service dog, the bond is how the dog learns the owners baseline states during the training.
Unfortunately, I am not able to afford such a highly trained dog because I live on Social Security Disability and that is why I am asking for your support. Any contribution you can make of any size will go directly toward adopting a puppy from either Oregon Dog Rescue http://www.oregondogrescue.org/ or, Underdog Railroad Rescue
http://www.underdograilroadrescue.com/ here in Oregon; its training and supplies such as food, crate, insurance and toys. Puppy obedience and Canine Good Citizen dog training can be done affordably in my neighborhood at Wet Dog Wellness Center by the trainers at Harmony Canine
http://www.harmonycaninetraining.com/ and Barbara’s Dog Training https://baebeasdogtraining.com/. Advanced training for service dog tasks and the Public Access Test (the test that shows the handler and dog have met the minimum standards to work as a team in public) can be done by one of the trainers at City Dog Country Dog Training http://citydogcountrydogtraining.com/service-therapy/ .
I am hopeful that, with a properly trained Service Dog and with the proper training myself, I will be able to live a fuller life out in the world and be able to pay this kindness forward. I will post updates and pictures of my journey with my Service Dog as we progress.
Thanks for reading this and taking the time to consider helping.