I always thought assistance dogs were for blind or hearing impaired people. As I began to learn more about these dogs, I realized they also offered a variety of help to people with disabilities. Now my interest was piqued but to know my next step took a little research. It is my hope to help you skip that confusing stage and begin taking strides toward achieving independence. This article will assist you in learning what help service dogs can provide, guide you in evaluating the different assistance dog programs, and introduce you to the training you will receive.
What Service Dogs Can Do For You:
Service dogs can be trained to find or retrieve objects that are out of reach, pull a manual wheelchairs, open doors and turn on lights, obtain help, assist with dressing or undressing, push buttons, open and close doors, and many other everyday tasks that may be difficult for a person with a disability. In addition, assistance dogs can be specially trained seizure response dogs, and there are dogs trained to offer a person counter balance when ambulating. One less tangible benefit is the constant companionship and unconditional love provided by each dog. ESA Registration
These dogs can actually expand your world by giving you opportunities to meet people and get out in the world. My service dog, Dottie, and I take walks around the neighborhood every evening. Each evening, between 5:00 and 6:00, she brings me her leash wanting to take a walk. (Unfortunately, rain presents a problem. Try to convince a dog that you can’t go for a walk because it is raining.) We never come home that we have not socialized with people we encountered. Interactions are usually prompted by Dottie and then switch to me.
There are programs that pair specially trained Service Dogs and children with autism. Autism Service Dogs are selected specifically for their stability, calmness and steady reaction to loud noises and constant motion. The dog’s presence offers a calming influence and provides a sense of security to the child and the parents. Attention span increases and emotional outbursts occur less often. All of these factors, plus many others, help to make each day a little easier for these children and their families.