People ask me why I have an assistance
‘Is he a guide dog?’
'Are you epileptic?’
'Oh look it’s a hearing dog…he’s so cute, I want to pat
him, but I can’t’
'You don’t look sick, how does he help you?’
People think I can’t see. People think I can’t hear.
I can see, and hear, I hear what you say, I hear you
an assistance dog he is as important in my ‘care plan/supports’ what ever you
want to call it as, my psych, my meds, my family and friends. My psychiatrist
has signed a form stating how an assistance dog will help me. I don’t take Toby
everywhere with me for the hell of it. Do you know how hard it is to take a dog
everywhere with you? I would love to be able to go out without him. People
stare. People point. Children scream. People talk to the dog and ignore me.
be wondering what Toby is trained to do. He alerts and responds to my anxiety.
He alerts and responds to my hallucinations, both audio and visual. He acts as
a block and provides a buffer between me and people when it’s busy. He provides
deep pressure therapy and will engage with me to distract me from panic. (by
nudging, pawing, sitting on me or licking in extreme cases) Today he even
alerted to me feeling dizzy… He alerted and wouldn’t stop until I sat down,
then he jumped on me, started nudging and licking until the world stopped
spinning and the stars went away.
the use of an assistance dog isn’t the ‘norm’. Especially for psych stuff, but…it
works for me. Toby is legally classed as medical equipment. Before you ask me
to go anywhere without Toby, let me ask you this;
alert to my anxiety?
Can you alert
to my hallucinations, both audio and visual?
to both of those things appropriately and subtly like he does?
No? Didn’t think so.
ask someone to go out without their wheelchair/walking stick/oxygen tank/ guide
dog. Please don’t ask me to come out without Toby.