The good news is we think we are finally on a positive path in a treatment program that is promising to finally provide Ashley the skills she needs to gain control and independence.
Our current doctor has recommended a psychiatric service dog as a critical component in Ashley's treatment. A psychiatric service dog (PSD) is capable of detecting Ashley's emotional responses before she or other people can. The dog is then trained to take action by:
a) removing her from the triggering environment
b) calming her through pressure
c) providing panic prevention by circling her in crowds
d) nudging/licking her to disrupt disassociation
We are fortunate to live close to DogsDowntown, an established Service Dog training organization with experience in training PSDs for handlers like Ashley. We've even been blessed to have a suitable PSD candidate donated. Her name is Olli, and she's ready to begin training in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, while the cost for DogsDowntown's services to train the dog are very reasonable, it's still a significant cost that we weren't prepared for... especially coming off of a series of medical expenses from Ashley's recent two months of hospitalization.
For those who are able, we would appreciate any donations of any value to help us help Ashley. Prayers are always welcome too.
(In the photo is Olli, a german shepherd puppy that was donated to become Ashley's PSD.)