Tag Archives: service dog


More questions for y’all:

How do you overcome worthlessness? If you’ve always felt like you had miles extra to make you worth basic human considerations, how do you inch up that gargantuan ladder?

Intrinsic worthlessness has been a topic of conversation lately, in both therapy, and the rest of my life.

The biggest obstacle I’m hitting is my lack of ability to make any part of this service dog thing happen. Every time I get even a hint of savings towards a prospect, something comes along to wipe it out. At this rate, I’ll be dead before I have enough money for an appropriate pure-bred prospect… and I’m not sure I’ll have the energy to follow through on the level of training needed for a successful and bomb-proof service dog.

My inability to save makes me second guess if I’d really actually benefit from one enough to put in this much effort. I only have so much energy, and mine’s fast running out. The holidays have been a huge drain this year. I barely have enough energy to be politely social with people, forget trying to figure out how to make a service dog work.

So, yeah. How do you overcome intrinsic worthlessness? How do you trick yourself into being ok with having needs, or asking for something, or feeling ok with extra effort to make something work?


Therapy via animals

One good thing about working at a kennel, there’s lots of “therapy dogs” to choose from…

Whatever was stirred-up in Wednesday’s session has not stopped playing out in my body since. The only thing that has helped has been one of the heavier dogs pressing into me. I didn’t have my kids at work, but was able to snag one of the camp dogs to take their place. There’s nothing quite like a 120lb rotti pressing his full weight into you for pets…

While I may not need a service dog all the time, a dog trained to help with body memories would be awesome at times like this. Mush-face will not always be there (he won’t be there tomorrow and neither will my dogs), and I’m not always at a place I can access either my dogs or a suitable replacement. I just don’t have the energy to train my own dogs for it right now. I’m also not certain I could justify in good conscience the necessity for a service dog at all times…

Hoping therapy progresses faster, and I’m past this point of relentless intrusive memories soon. It’s really tiring.

thoughts on getting an mh service dog certification?

It has been recommended to me for several years (by psychiatrists, therapists, and my pcp) to try to get a service dog for my symptoms. I took the step today to contact a training center about training one of my own dogs (because she already seems attuned to my dissociation, depression, and flashbacks). I’m wondering though, what she really could do at least for the dissociation. I know she could probably fit the definition of an emotional support dog, but I’m not sure what else she could do…

Does anyone have a PTSD or Depression (or any mental health issue) service dog? I was trying to look into it, and the examples they give for PTSD dogs wouldn’t fit my symptoms so much. My flashbacks are mostly emotional and physical sensations. There’s very little outward evidence of them. Right now, she’s just more present and literally in my face when they happen. Sometimes she crawls on top of me. It helps in grounding… I guess I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the severity of the symptoms that would warrant a service dog. Also, would needing a dog around for personal accountability and safety meet the requirements of having a service dog? If I’m driving when triggered, I can get quite impulsive at least in my thinking. At one point, Dr. C strongly recommended I don’t go anywhere without the dogs in the car because she knew I wouldn’t do anything to endanger them. It’s much harder to do that and have to leave them in the car at my destination in this hot weather. Having one of the dogs be a service dog, I would pretty much be guaranteed impulse control with my driving…¬†Would it qualify if I need my dog to be able to help ground from either flashbacks or dissociation more effectively, remain physically safe from myself when triggered, help keep functioning when the depression gets really bad, help drag me out of a crowded/anxiety-provoking situation, stuff like that? This stuff is not necessarily a daily occurrence, but when it does hit (goes in cycles of weeks or months) it is very debilitating.

I think I also am wondering if I’m not just enamored with the concept of being able to take my dog with me everywhere… I can see the benefits of having her there and trained during stressful situations, but is that then conceding that I’m more messed-up than I want to believe myself to be? Does getting a service dog mean I’m hopeless? If I get to a point of “remission” enough to be able to function more freely on a daily basis, would I need to give up my service dog? Will this end up making me feel as defeated as the disability determination did? While having disability helps in so many ways, it also makes me feel so hopeless about recovery and how well I can manage my life… I must be really fucked-up to have qualified. Would having a service dog, while hugely helpful in the day-to-day of the ptsd/depression/anxiety, also just prove to me how worthless I am?

I know I often have trouble grounding, and that deep pressure helps me ground. I’ve been trying to teach the pack a “cuddle up” command that would have any or all of them pile on top of me when I’m sitting or in bed. The few times they did this during flashbacks on their own accord, it helped a lot. I would love to be able to utilize that at any time (maybe TM would be less frustrated with me if I could manage to stay present during therapy). It would also be helpful to be able to have help “finding the exit” when I start to get overly anxious in a store (holy cow does walmart ever bring that out in me?!). Chow already bugs the heck out of me if I’m in bed for too long or too often in the middle of the day. It would be good if that was one of her trained responses.

I dunno. I really like the concept, and even the thought of being able to bring her with me everywhere is calming… but then how does that impact pack dynamics? Will she be able to adjust to the new role? Will the others? Will I have the dedication to keep on her training? When I get too depressed, I stop functioning. That includes being consistent with what is acceptable behavior at home for the dogs. Would that make having her trained as a service dog not work? She’s been a pet with us for 3 years, can she handle the switch to becoming a “working dog”? I know she is super-chill and generally non-reactive. I think that would help her a lot in her duties. She already seems to have a lot of the skills/behavioral traits of service dogs, so does that help? Will the other dogs resent both me and her?

Also, how in the world will I pay for this? The guy I contacted today is MUCH less expensive than a lot of the national places, and he’s local, but it would still be most of my annual income to get her trained… I will have to check to see if my insurance will cover the training somehow, or at least cover part of her training. One pamphlet on my horrid state insurance seems to imply covering at least the care of a service animal. Other resources (not the state pamphlet) claim that service animal training and care is not covered. I guess I should call the state or 211…

If this doesn’t pan out, I could always hire my trainer friend up north, but that would require me to wait till I return there to get her trained and certified. If it’s at all possible, I would want to get Chow trained and certified asap. My symptoms are all worse down here anyway… :/