Service Dogs Are For The Rich

Everything is a business.
There is only one reputable place I can reasonably apply for a service dog for my son. Every other place, assuming I can raise the ¨donation¨, would require hotel and food for weeks of training. Not to mention care for my other children while I am doing this. Another adult to watch my child (yes, I had to pick which one, I don’t like it anymore than you do) while I am in their facility and the child is not, etc. Of course I cannot work and do the training at the same time, so I would lose a bit of income.
I am practically superwoman. I can do things like this, but the risk is really too high. If the dog does not work out, I have to pay for this working vacation all over again. So I am forced to go local,and only one place here works with children. Only autistic children.
Every PTSD assist dog is for adults, and mostly for veterans. Which is good, just not for anyone like myself who has multiple children with PTSD.
I have been reading on service dogs all week. I had a fantastic dog for over a decade, and I raised her myself. I found her eating garbage at the end of my road just off base in North Carolina. Everyone dumps their dogs right by the base. She was the fourth one I found, but the only one I kept instead of finding a home for, because she was attentive, instinctively attuned to me, and learned to sit in the first half hour. I know you shouldn’t train a dog for thirty minutes at three months of age, I wasn’t training her. I was just telling her to sit, on and off, to see if she could learn the word. She did, with her eyes on my face. She did everything a service dog would do, except for the proofing. I could not get her to remember to ¨stay¨ for more than forty five minutes. Oh, and I also could never get her to sit from afar. She always came back to me to sit. She could not work out the stay and sit combo. It might have been me, I was not a dog trainer. She was perfect.
So my point is that there is also a place here that will coach you through training your own assistance dog. There are probably two places, and I know I can handle it, if I can find the time. I am going to put him on the list and see what happens. It is not up to me, but up to them. If they do not think we are a good fit, I will get that letter from the psychologist and get a cat or train up a dog.
I have the applications for horse therapy in my bag. I need the boys to sign them, and off they go. I might not be able to afford that, either, but I will never know until I give them these waivers. I have fantastic testimonials from horse people and the community.
If I had gone to college, and made some decent money, I would not be writing this.


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4 responses to “Service Dogs Are For The Rich

  1. I hope everything works out so you can get a dog. I’ve looked into service dogs for my son as well. They are so expensive. And I understand how you feel about the “if I had done xyz I would have a better job and more money, but I also must have time and flexibility to be there when my family needs me, and there are only so many hours in the day.” You are fantastic parent, regardless.

    • Aw, thanks for your kind words and support. I am going to apply, and not put much hope into it. They are not even taking applications, just applications to apply! It makes me want to throw in the towel and get a pet dog. But sometimes you gotta go for the gold.

      • My son is afraid of animals. I’ve always wanted to see how he would react to a service dog trained not to jump or lick or make quick triggering movements. But, like you say, it is so expensive and time consuming. And for us, I don’t even know if my son would ever take to it. But I’ll be rooting for you in this, and if it doesn’t work out, may the perfect stray dog come eat from your trashcan at just the moment you walk outside. 😉

      • I wish you had a dog reading program at your library. Those dogs just sit quietly and let children read to them, and it is free and open to all children. It might be worth it to find a friend with a mellow dog so you can help him address his fear. My son is afraid of any dog that jumps or moves quickly. But just until they are calm again. If I saw that dog at my trash, I would know it was meant to be!

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