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Service Dog Update!

cavykaitlyn

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I went to Harrisburg yesterday for my service dog interview!

While we were there, we discussed the tasks a dog could help an autistic with, and even mentioned a boy who went to my school, who was very slightly autistic and had a service dog trained by these people.

I met three dogs, but worked with only one. And I was treated like royalty!
Queen Mab was a beautiful chocolate lab. We worked on commands such as "touch", "lap", and "let's go" to walk around. It made me feel like I was in heaven...it was finally coming into reality; no longer was it some far-off dream.

I was even walked out by a service dog!

A few years ago, I kept track of every day that passed after we thought our application went through. I wrote in a journal, letter-style, to an imaginary service dog named Sophia.

Sophia was a yellow lab with a warm heart and a silly smile. When things got rough, she was there. I wrote to her every day for nearly 80 days...full page letters on service dogs and life at home.
But really, back to the interview.

Mabbie would not stop licking me! It was SUPER cute!

They asked me questions, such as what tasks a dog could perform for me, my primary diagnosis, and whether the dog would go to school with me and sleep in bed with me (both of which were YES).

Then I was asked if I had plans for college, because I'm in high school now, and the dog may take a while. I said, "I plan on going to the Art Institute," and the interviewer said, "You plan on living away from home?"
With a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I said, "With this dog, yes."

Now we just have a formal application to fill out, and we're on the waiting list!
You cannot even begin to imagine how excited I am! I have waited for this for SO long!

Thanks for being there for me, guys :) It means everything! Do any of you have service dogs? I'd love to hear about them! And you can PM me if you're not comfortable posting here <3
 

PigPandemonium

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Congrats! I have a service dog so any question you have I'd be happy to answer! I trained my SD myself instead of going with an organization. I'm also in high school and working on getting it approved for her to possibly go to class with me.
 

agirlwithink

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Congrats! There's a wonderful man and his service dog that come into our office quite often and it's incredible to see the man interact with her. I hope you get your doggy soon!
 

Guineapigpro

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How exciting! Eep! You get to take it to school, too?! How awesome!
 

hunniechey

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There is a girl at my college with one! She has a physical handicap and is wheelchair bound, but with Roxxi she is able to live almost completely self sufficient. They are wonderful and I am so excited for you! Congratulations!
 

cavykaitlyn

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Thank you everyone!

I'm really happy to hear from all of you :)

@PigPandemonium , if you don't mind my asking, what is the dog trained for? (You can always PM me if you like) A hearing dog, mobility dog, autism service dog...?
I'm super curious AND super hyper, sorry ;)

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts! I have two reference letters done now, one to go! And then there's some that doctors have to do, but that's all right, because I can get those done quickly.
I got my Comp Skills teacher to do one (he's my case manager as well, along with an autism teacher, and he worked with the boy who had the service dog), and I got my bus driver to do the other one, because I've been talking to her every day for nearly three years! She knows EVERYTHING about me, and she loves to hear about the service dog process!
 

Princess_Piggie

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Feel free not to answer this if you aren't comfortable with it @cavykaitlyn, but what is it that service dogs can do for autism? I've never heard of service dogs for autism before. Purely out of interest because I'm a major dog lover and I think the things they can do to help people are really incredible :D

I've actually decided the next dog I adopt is going to be a retired service dog because I've got a soft spot for the elderly hehe.

Congratulations on (almost) getting your doggie, I hope we'll get pictures when she comes home?! :D
 

cavykaitlyn

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Yes, yes, definitely pictures!

They can provide pressure, which is very calming for autistics (similar to weighted blankets and vests), they can provide tactile stimulation upon notice of sensory overload (when all the sights and sounds become too much for us), and they can also do things like interrupt and alert to stimming (repetitive behaviors such as tapping or making the same sound again and again) and stop self-harm. They can also stand between you and other people, sort of like "crowd control".

And these are just the ones I can think of right now! This is pretty much everything I told the interviewer I wanted my dog to do.

If you'd like, the organization is Susquehanna Service Dogs, and they're located in Harrisburg, PA, as I previously told everyone. They raise Labs.

Their website is www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd

I met with some of the Shakespeare litter! They have themes for each of their litters :) I met Falstaff and Queen Mab!
 

Princess_Piggie

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God, it just blows me away how intelligent dogs are and how much support they can provide for all kinds of people.

I bet you're going to have an incredible bond with your dog, cannot wait for pictures!
 

PigPandemonium

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She's a Psychiatric Service Dog who does work for an anxiety disorder. Some of the work she does is deep pressure therapy, alerting to anxiety attacks, responding to anxiety attacks by bringing me medication, finding my Mother on cue, leading me to an exit, circling around me to give the hint of "I need space" and grounding among other things.
 

Guineapigpro

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She's a Psychiatric Service Dog who does work for an anxiety disorder. Some of the work she does is deep pressure therapy, alerting to anxiety attacks, responding to anxiety attacks by bringing me medication, finding my Mother on cue, leading me to an exit, circling around me to give the hint of "I need space" and grounding among other things.

That is just amazing to me. WOW.
 

My_3_LittlePigs

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Wow, Dogs are really amazing and truly man's best friend. I really enjoyed reading this thread. I knew dogs helped with the physically handicap, like blind or wheelchair bound.. but I had no idea they could assist with Autism and Anxiety. Truly amazing.. I hope you get ur doggie soon. :)
 

PiggieWigglies

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At school, one of the principals has a service dog (or 2) that she brings in, so Id love to hear more about yours when you get him/her!
 

rsgymjam

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Wow! I had no idea service dogs could do so much! I really cannot believe how well trained they can get though!

Hope all goes well!
 
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