Where did you go to get a service dog?
my service dog from Susquehanna Service Dogs. They are a wonderful organization
and are very helpful in any way imaginable. There are other places where you can get a service dog; a quick google search
will find many more.
Is there a process for receiving a dog?
http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd/appprocess.php This link explains the application process in depth. For my first dog Freedom I was on the waiting list for about one year, after he passed it took about a
year and a half to get paired with Jona. Each dog was $500 for me, SSD found
grants to cover the rest.
Once you qualify for one, what is
Training as they call it, is held every few months when they have a group of dogs and partners; my first team training consisted
of 5 dogs where this last one had 8. We attend classes that lasted for two and
a half weeks from 9am – 4pm. Much of the time is spent working on specific
skills and tasks we need our dog to perform for us. We also spent a lot of the
first few days just listening to lectures, going over our training manual, and just learning basic care. The second week we spent a lot of time taking the dogs out in public, we went somewhere different for lunch
Do the dogs already know certain skills
or do you give the program a list of your needs?
dogs are very highly trained but of course some dogs are better with working with someone in a wheelchair where as another
may be better suited as a hearing dog. There is a lot of paperwork that is filled
out in the application process and a list of your needs is included in this.
What things will he help you with?
picks things up for me that I may drop onto the floor, such as my phone or the remote and gets things for me that may be out
of my reach. He can open and close the doors for me around the house. He can assist me at a checkout counter or a Dr.’s
office by getting a bag, appt. card, piece of paper and bringing it to me. He is also a great resource for emotional support