dogs for autism

Service dogs

For those of you who get confused on the terminology.

From a legal standpoint: service dogs should be viewed as medical equipment

From a person standpoint: a furry friend that saves us on a daily basis.

We’re not saying they’re medical equipment, they have the legal rights of medical equipment, we know they’re living breathing things and we respect them as such.

Josh Sauchak - Why he's so important to me.

Today I bawled my eyes out, not out of sadness but out of happiness because I finally got to explain to someone what Josh means to Autistic and Aspergers people and I realised during that explanation that he’s my favourite character. Not just in Watch Dogs but in the whole of existence.

Now I feel a little weird writing this because I’ve never felt this way with a character before and if you read this and start to get a little confused please bare with me.

Growing up for me was different, I always knew I was different from how I could read Lord of the Rings or Poldark at the age of six and understand every word. From how I never fit in with the other kids, from how I could only talk to adults because I was on their mental capacity levels and how I’m effected by the system for being this way. When I was finally diagnosed as an Aspergers young lady, it all made sense. Back then, I believed that I had all these quirks and was bullied a lot because I was broken. I wasn’t neurotypical, I was defective.

For me I had nobody in TV, Film or later on video games. Autistic and Aspergers people are always represented as the dependant person who burdens the carer because it’s so “difficult and challenging” to raise / care for people like us.

Because of all these things, people misunderstand people like us. They treat us differently like there is something wrong with us. We’re defective. Broken. Weird. They tell us to “just be normal” and some people say we need a cure.
Some of us are effected more than others like myself and need special attention and care, others are independent but none of us are broken.
I’m in the middle myself, I’m partially independent but sometimes I need help. Especially in social situations like meetings and phone calls or studying but I’m independent enough to fund and plan out every single detail of a trip to Montreal, Boston and New York by myself. To meet new people and old friends. I do get sensory overload and I have breakdowns so sometimes I need help myself. We’re all different though.

This teaches some of us to feel as though we aren’t worth anything. To hate who we are and some of us to more extreme measures that I myself have done and even depression. Some of us are even afraid to tell others that we’re autistic in some way even friends because just like Clark Kent in Smallville, we’re scared they’ll hate us or no longer treat us the same if they find out our “secret”. I know that means they were never really our friends but it still hurts us so much.

But then Ubisoft created Josh.
With Josh he’s independent but sometimes has sensory overloads, like when Lenni hacked Dedsec. He also has a moment when he realises some of the followers are fake and begins to fall into a breakdown. Yet his friends never told him to get over it or that he was over-reacting. They never treated him like he was broken. They never said he was that way because he’s autistic. They never pushed on it. Horatio mentions it in an audio file but never puts Josh down about it. Just Blume and how they ruined his life by marking him as people usually do. Defective.

I relate to Josh so much, when I look at him I see myself and I’ve never had that. I’ve never seen someone so like Josh/me be loved so much because they’re human. Even the little things like how he wears a green hoodie. So simple but I wear a green hoodie all the time. It’s my favourite, even more so now. Even now I struggle with acceptance of my Aspergers but it’s because of these things I speak about it constantly and try to raise awareness and acceptance and I feel with Josh. We’ve taken a huge step towards it. If only TV and film could follow Ubisoft in this way.

So thank you Ubisoft and Jonathan for making someone like Josh so people like me can have someone to relate to and see that it’s okay to be different because the right people won’t treat us like freaks, they’ll love us for who we are. I cry about this because I’m so happy because I see people play this game and love Josh so much and it gives me hope because that means neurotypical people can love me too. I honestly can’t explain it as I can in my head but I tried my absolute best to get the words out.

If you read all this, thank you. I’m sorry for the rambling, I tried.

Selecting a Service Dog Puppy

When it comes to Service Dogs, selecting the right animal is always important. It is often hard to know how to select a dog when wishing to owner train or buy a puppy to send to a training organisation. Here I will discuss some of the techniques and tests used to select dogs as suitable Service Animal candidates. Please note that there are MANY different tests and theories on how to best select a suitable dog. This guide will not list everything; it will be a resource that aims to educate and aid handlers in some of the important tests that aid Service Dog selection. Not every dog that passes these tests will necessarily have what it takes to be a Service Dog. The wash-out rate for Service Dogs is incredibly high- especially when they are required to do complex tasks such as alerting to seizures and drops in blood sugar.

Whilst this post specifies that the tests are for selecting a Service Dog puppy as a prospect, the majority of these tests can also be used to assess fully grown dogs such as those in shelters that you may be considering as your Service Dog partner. 

WHAT BREED?

Any breed can be a Service Dog. Despite this, there are some important issues to consider when thinking of getting breeds that do not necessarily fit the conventional Service Dog stereotype such as Labs, Retrievers and Poodles.

  • Access issues. Unusual breeds of Service Animal are often prone to more Public Access challenges due to standing out and not matching the stereotypes that people have in their minds.
  • Suitability. If you need a mobility dog, it doesn’t make sense to have a Chihuahua as your Service Dog. Make sure that the breed you select is capable of performing the tasks that you need it to.
  • Health issues and lifespan. Whilst some larger breeds such as Great Danes are used as Service Dogs, they have a shorter lifespan. Training a Service Dog is time consuming and expensive so it makes sense to get a Service Animal that will be healthy and live for a good amount of time.
  • Breed Traits. This is not always a highly limiting factor, but it is something that is definitely worth considering. Some dogs such as Huskies and Shiba Inus have high energy levels and are renowned for taking their time to learn tasks. Whilst it is good to acknowledge that there are exceptions to every rule, it doesn’t hurt to consider breed characteristics that may affect your dog’s ability to perform tasks successfully. Breeds such as German Shepherds are highly intelligent and are becoming more popular as Service Dogs, however their guarding instinct is a common cause for failing Public Access tests due to growling and being overprotective of their handler. When selecting the breed of your dog, be sure to investigate what common traits they possess and how you plan to tackle these in training to avoid issues.
  • Personal Requirements. Are you willing and able to groom a longhaired dog daily? If not, then you should not get a Service Dog that requires regular grooming. Do you have allergies to dogs? If you do, consider looking into breeds that are better for those who have dog allergies (such as Poodles).

TESTS

Most Service Dog organisations perform tests such as those listed below when the puppies reach 7-8 weeks of age. These tests do not fully determine characteristics such as temperament since the dog is still developing. The tests aim to assess natural instincts that make a dog more likely to be successful in training such as their food drive, attention to the handler and recall abilities. It is often good to go with a breeder that has either bred Service Dogs before or has breeding dogs from Service Dog lines. It has been proven that dogs who do well in these tests and are successful Service Animals are more likely to have offspring that are also highly suitable and successful in the Service Dog field. These tests should be performed with each puppy from the litter being separated from its littermates and other animals to avoid distraction.

  • Noise/Recovery Test- Drop an object that will make a loud noise (such as a metallic food bowl). Assess the dog’s reaction and how quickly it recovers from the experience. Commonly the dog may react to the sound and jump but it is how the dog chooses to recover and approach the situation that is most important. Curiosity and sniffing of the object is a positive sign, fearfulness and running away is not desirable.
  • Lap Test- Put the puppy on your lap. Observe its body language and how much it relaxes. If the dog relaxes and responds by making eye contact or trying to reach your face for attention this is desirable. If the dog cowers and tries to get off your lap, it does not pass this particular test.
  • Sociability- Put the puppy by your feet and pet it. If it stays by your side, offers eye contact and enjoys the interaction it passes. It is also acceptable for the dog to stay by your side for attention, leave to explore before returning for more affection. If the puppy runs away or seems nervous, cowering or shivering as it receives affection, this is undesirable.
  • Recall- Have the breeder or another person move the puppy a few steps away. Call out to the puppy to get it to come over to you. If the puppy comes over with no hesitation this is a very good sign. If the pup takes a little more persuasion but eventually comes this is also alright. If the pup ignores you entirely or wanders off it is considered as a fail for this test.
  • Prey Drive- Have a toy such as a rope and drag it around on the floor. If the dog grabs the toy and shows curiosity in chasing after it, this is a good sign. If the dog behaves in an overly aggressive manner or is fearful/disinterested of the toy, this is an undesirable result. It is important not to select a dog that has a huge prey drive for Service Dog work, however it is good to select a dog that has a healthy degree of curiosity and is willing to work and show interest.
  • Retrieve Test- Scrunch up some paper into a ball and throw it a short distance away. If the dog picks it up and brings it back to you this is a great result. If the dog picks it up and brings it part-way back to you this is also good. If the dog runs over to the toy but does not pick it up or return with it, this is still a good sign of curiosity, but not as good as the first two reactions. The dog fails this test if it simply watches the ball without reacting to it or ignores the action completely.
  • Hearing/Curiosity test- Use a squeaker toy to initiate the pup’s interest. This test is also a simple hearing test. If the dog comes over to investigate the squeak, this is a good sign. If the pup fails to turn or turns but does not come over to investigate after more squeaks this classes as a fail for this test.
  • Tug Test- With a rope toy, initiate some simple play. This test is important for dogs that are going on to be mobility dog performing tasks such a pulling open doors. Desirable reactions include: latching onto the toy and tugging or holding onto the toy briefly before letting go. Less desirable reactions include showing interest in the toy but not knowing what to do and ignoring the toy.
  • Food Drive- Place some high reward food such as meat between your fingers and test the dog’s interest in it. Desirable reactions are: sniffing and working to try to get the food with its tongue, sniffing and trying to get the food before eventually giving up. Undesirable reactions include showing little to no interest in the food, showing no real desire to get it from between your fingers.
  • Willingness to work- Get the dog’s attention with some high reward food such as meat. Then place this food underneath a small container whilst the dog is watching. If the dog starts sniffing at the container and trying to get to the food underneath, this is a good sign. This test aims to see how much the dog is willing to work for a reward. Poor results include ignoring the container or showing no interest in getting to the food underneath.
  • Unusual Interaction Test- Get an assistant to start waving their arms around whilst shouting and causing a scene. Service Dogs have to be used to working around a variety of different people. This test aims to assess how they cope with unusual people and situations. A good reaction includes: curiosity, watching and wagging the tail. A bad reaction includes: fear, signs of wanting to escape the person and growling or aggressive behaviours.

Me: my disorders directly affect my personality and who I am as a person and therefore they have a huge influence on how I view my gender

Some asshole, probably: what is this mogai shit?

bbc.co.uk
An autistic boy who can't be touched has connected with a service dog
An autistic boy who can't be touched or hugged by anyone has connected for the first time - with his new service dog.

“Five-year-old Kainoa Niehaus travelled to the 4 Paws For Ability centre in Ohio from Japan after two years of waiting for an animal to become available. His mum Shanna shared a photo of her son resting his head on Tornado.’

… “This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment.”

“4 Paws For Ability is a non-profit global organisation which provides service dogs to disabled children and veterans who’ve lost the use of limbs or their hearing.”

Josh - Watch Dogs 2 (Autism / Aspergers)

So a few weeks ago before it was confirmed I had my suspicions that Josh was Autistic in some way due to his descriptions. Being an Aspergers woman myself, it was easy to pick out these traits and hope that it wasn’t just false hope for a positive representation of Autistic / Aspergers people would happen. Usually people like us are treated like we are “special” or “difficult” and sometimes “defective”.

From what I’ve seen from all the playthroughs and trailers, Josh doesn’t seem to be negatively represented. In fact the complete opposite. He is loved by his friends and highly respected not for the Aspergers but for his skillset.

Usually when people like us are portrayed it’s only Autism. Never really Aspergers. It’s rare when it is and it’s such a good and positive representation.

This is definitely a praise post and I can’t wait to play this game. Watch Dogs 2 is representing people of colour (Marcus, Sitara and Horatio), people with Aspergers, and people who are just different and unique, being themselves (Wrench).

things that suck
  • having an invisible disability and being told that you’re faking and that your service dog is illegal + fake/you don’t deserve that parking space/etc.
  • having hearing loss/being hoh but not being “profoundly deaf” and therefore being told “you’re faking,” “you don’t sound deaf,” etc
  • being pan/bi and being told to “pick a side already”
  • being ace and being told that “humans need sex,” “you just haven’t found the right person,” etc.
  • being mentally ill and people who don’t see it tell you you’re full of shit
  • people thinking that just because today is better than yesterday that you’re either faking or that you’re magically cured
  • people thinking that there is a cure
  • people thinking that you need to be cured
  • people
the curious incident of the dog in the night-time review

Okay right off the bat I want to say this play was so different form others that I’ve seen. To show you here is the opening stage!

So this whole grid paper design was the whole stage. The grids opened up like cubby holes and had props in it such as trees, a train set, houses, big ben, and the London Eye (the ferris wheel in London). 

Through the play it switched from him and other characters talking to his teacher reading his book. Towards the middle of the play it actually transitions to a play within a play. Just like how the book is telling the story of Christoper’s book.

At the beginning of the play it opens up with an intense strobe lights directly on Wellington. So that is a warning to people who have visual sensory overloads/ epilepsy of any kind. (I have problems with visual stimulus so I had to look away and my friend would tap my arm to let me know it was okay to look again.) 

This happens a few other times like on the train to London. Most were the backlights during representations of sensory overload. There were loud noises as well and Benjamin Wheelwright who played Christoper did a wonderful representation of having a meltdown or a sensory overload (which happens many times in the play) as well as stimming (which made me stim when I saw it!) 

Overall the play was wonderful un like any other I’ve seen. The way they used the stage to show his overloads was incredible and even used them for him to draw on like a smartboard. 

I would recommend this to anyone who is autistic or is just interested in learning more about this play! I would always suggest reading the book! It’s only a couple dollars on amazon or you might just read it in a high school English class which is where I first read it!

I’ll be making another post of the pictures we took from the play!

Another reason Watch Dogs 2 makes me happy.

A friend pointed out that Wrench has a sticky note in his workspaces and one of them says “brush teeth" “haircut” and another says “Eat something!!!”. Now although there’s a 90% chance I’m looking into this too much, it does make me happy.

I don’t know whether it’s related to my Aspergers or not but my mind is extremely clustered. I’m always thinking several things at once and that’s why you’ll frequently find me staring off into space somewhere either doing nothing or subconsciously doing something or I’m over focused like when I’m working on something, it will be the only thing I can focus on. Unlike most people there is no in between.

Example, yesterday I zoned out but subconsciously whilst playing Xbox with a friend yet I was still doing well to the point my friend couldn’t tell I wasn’t mentally there in that moment except I was quieter but because I wasn’t technically there, I don’t remember what it is exactly that I was doing.

Because of this I often don’t realise or remember to do basic things like brush my teeth or hair. Take a shower. Eat. Drink. Talk. I still don’t. They frequently get lost and I rarely remember by myself so I started putting sticky notes everywhere along with a daily reminder on my phone that goes off three times a day. They’re on doors, walls, floors, bathrooms and my mirror just because during the day I’ll come across them all and subconsciously pick one up in my mind which then gets filtered into a reminder and I’ll wander off and do what the note said. Even though they work great, I’m still struggling with the eating one as it takes longer to do than showering and doing my teeth but they do work it’s been months since I’ve forgotten to do one of the tasks, except eating but I’m still a work in progress.

So seeing Wrench have little notes like this makes me wonder if he’s the same except his is on being intellectual. He’s a smart guy so maybe his mind is crowded too, he struggles to focus on basic things because his mind is running faster than the average persons like mine. (I’m not saying I’m smart like he is, because I’m not anymore but my mind still runs extremely fast so focusing is hard.) So he has little sticky notes to subconsciously remind him of these things. Maybe it has a part of anxiety clustering his thoughts too.

Makes me wonder if Josh might do it as well. Maybe he doesn’t need it? Maybe Sitara reminds him or maybe he figured it out a while ago and no longer needs to do it.

Dealing with Crowds and Service Dog Etiquette

Below are some suggestions for dealing with crowds when you have a Service Dog. When travelling in busy areas or cities you can face a lot of issues, not all of them access-related. You need to be wary of people trampling your dog and approaching you to ask questions. If you are anxious or unsure about how to handle these situations the list I have written may be useful to you.

Ways to deal with crowds:

  • If travelling with a friend or group of people, keep your Service Dog between you and one of them so that they are more concealed and invite fewer people to approach.
  • When travelling on busy transport, keep your leg on the outside of your dog and have them sit close to you to avoid them being stood on or sliding when the transport makes any sudden stops and starts.
  • Always walk on the side of the road when travelling with your Service Dog, this avoids incidents with people driving too close to the curb or your dog being pushed onto the road if you are nudged by a crowd member. If you have your dog clearly vested people should hopefully give you more space on the sidewalk. (Note- This point may be contradictory to what some Service Dogs are trained to do. Guide Dogs in particular are trained to stand in front of cars so that in the event of being hit when crossing a road etc, the dog is a buffer than can protect the human. I merely state that you should be vigilant about roads in the case of an incident that is non-life-threatening to you but very harmful to your dog. If your dog is seriously injured, your independence will be affected as a result of this.)
  • Make sure your dog is clearly marked as a Service Dog with patches that remind people to not pet or distract them. Yes, a lot of people tend not to read them, but it can help deter the ones that do.
  • If you struggle with anxiety and people approaching you to ask about your dog, some patches can be purchased that ask people NOT to approach the handler as it causes anxiety. Consider in investing in ones of these. They can be found on Ebay.
  • On more basic grounds, if you wish to avoid getting into conversation use the simple trick of avoiding eye contact and listening to an mp3 player if possible. It might not always work, but if you aren’t eyeing people back it tends to be less inviting grounds for a conversation.
  • Have a pretend phone call.
  • Have a real phone call.
  • Carry small business cards around with you with information on them. A few of my friends do this. You can have basic info on them or website links that explain things such as: What your Service Dog is trained in, What organisation trained them (if you did not owner-train) and links to places where people can read more if they are interested. It can help if you don’t want to appear rude or dismissive but still want to help educate people about Service Dogs. On cards you can explain that you may have not been feeling very well, but appreciate the interest of the person before giving brief snippets of information about your Service Dog.
  • If somebody tries to pet your dog, a way to deal with this is to place your hand under theirs so that they would come into contact with you rather than your dog. This is often enough to deter people who have either been too rude to ask if they can pet your dog or have ignored your request for them not to.

HOW TO BEHAVE AROUND A SERVICE DOG

Many people approach Service Dog handlers out of simple curiosity. Not everyone has bad intentions. Even though it can be repetitive and tiresome to hear 20 times a day how somebody has a dog ‘just like yours’ or wishes their dog was as well trained or has a distant relative who has a Service Dog, the general public can often not realise this. Here I will discuss simple Service Dog etiquette. For the sake of handlers everywhere, please take these points into account:

  • Do NOT pet the dog without permission. As a rule of thumb it is best not to ask to pet the dog at all, they are working and if distracted they can fail to perform important tasks such as alerting to medical emergencies. There have been instances in which people have suffered seizures after their Service Dogs have been distracted from alerting them. It is dangerous to distract a Service Dog.
  • READ THE PATCHES! Service Dogs do not just wear those glaring bright patches that read 'Do Not Pet’ to look pretty. Please read and respect them.
  • Do not allow your dog to approach a Service Dog if it is working. If you are in doubt ASK whether it is alright for you to introduce your dog. This is especially important if your dog is unruly or aggressive. If a Service Dog is injured by another dog you are seriously affecting the independence of the handler. If a Service Dog is injured it is unable to work. If the dog is unable to work, the handler may be rendered unable to do everyday tasks for a long period of time. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Never feed a Service Dog.  A lot of dogs are on specialized diets and may have health conditions that make them unable to tolerate certain foods. I have had a dog with years of pancreatitis and hypothyroidism - if somebody fed him anything remotely high in fat he would become so seriously ill that his life was in danger. Do NOT feed other people’s dogs. You don’t know their health conditions or dietary requirements. Regardless of health, it is also a distraction. 
  • Speak to the person, not the dog. Handlers often find that they are 'invisible’ when they have their dog. People always address the dog first and show interest in the dog, but not the person. This can be regarded as rude and a tad disrespectful. Consider the handler.
  • Don’t whistle, call out or harass a Service Dog. This is a distraction and as mentioned before, distractions are dangerous.
  • Make sure your children don’t approach or pet a Service Dog. This is a distraction and even though it may appear 'cute’ or 'funny’ it’s still dangerous. On more general terms it is also a good idea to educate your children on how to approach a dog correctly. Although Service Dogs are no risk to people, children should be taught not to rush over to unfamiliar dogs. Not all dogs are friendly and you do not want your child to get hurt by an aggressive or anxious dog.
  • Do not assume the disability of the handler or ask what their disability is. Quite frankly, that is private and personal. You wouldn’t ask somebody why they are in a wheelchair, so you most certainly shouldn’t ask why they have a Service Animal. Not everyone with a Service Dog is deaf or blind. Be respectful of the different disabilities out there and treat the person as you would treat any other. Some people may not mind offers for help, but a great deal are happy to be left to get on with their day with the help of their Service Dog.
  • Be respectful of the dog. You may not like animals or be fearful of dogs. That is alright, but it is important to recognise that Service Dogs are highly trained. They would NOT be a Service Dog if they are aggressive or in any way a risk to people. These dogs are valued family members that are clean, gentle and just trying to get their job done. Most handlers will do their best to keep their dog at a distance to you if you are uncomfortable with them, but this is not always possible. It is rude (and illegal) to ask someone with a Service Dog to move or leave the premises because you don’t like dogs, 'have allergies’ or are fearful of them. Compromises can be met, but please have some respect.
  • Do not be rude to the handler if they don’t permit you to touch their dog or ask you not to distract them. They have a good reason for asking this.
  • Do not ask a Service Dog handler to have their dog 'demonstrate’ a task.
  • Do not take pictures or record a Service Dog without the handler’s permission.
  • Be considerate about the comments you make. 'But you’re so young!’, 'Are you training him?’, 'I wish I could take my dog everywhere, that’s so cool!’, 'You don’t look disabled’, 'You must be faking it’, 'Are you blind?’ They may seem innocent to you but are invasive to a handler. Put yourself in their shoes.


Remember when responding to people approaching you and your Service Dog…

  • Be patient. You may be tired or having a bad day, but try to be polite. You are representing Service Dog teams and it’s important that you don’t give others a bad name or reputation by being rude to people approaching you out of curiosity.
  • You do not have a 'duty’ to educate the public, but if you have the time or energy to spread a bit of knowledge it can help. Let people know simple things about Service Dog etiquette and how to behave around a Service Dog for future reference. The more people that are educated, the easier it is for future Service Dog teams.

  • If you don’t feel like talking, try using the small business card idea I mentioned earlier.

anonymous asked:

This sounds like a silly question but I have two dogs, ones 5 years old and ones 4 months. The older one is very gentle and caring with me and I think he knows im autistic but my puppy is rough, he runs and jumps on me (1)

(2) tries to bite me and steals my stim toys. He gets into trouble when he does this but he never ever fucking stops. Can dogs tell if someone is autistic? I think he thinks I’m weaker and lower than him because I’m not neurotypical.

I think that your puppy is just acting like a regular puppy and trying to play. All dogs have different temperaments. Your stim toys are probably just interesting to him, and your reaction might also be a sort of reward (if your reaction is interesting/exciting - for example if you make noises when he nips you, he’s getting attention from you, or he thinks that being chased is a game).

Keep your stim toys out of his reach so he won’t be able to steal them. And/or spend time calmly teaching him to leave your stim toys alone, and reward him when he does so. Training will help him to do learn what you want him to do (and not to do), and will keep him stimulated and help you to bond with him.

Make sure he’s getting adequate exercise. Find dog toys with a range of textures to keep him stimulated, or that are also puzzles that he has to work out. You want him to think of his own toys as being far more interesting than yours. Play games with him.

Try to stay calm. I know it’s difficult sometimes, especially if you’re being hurt or having your things taken/chewed, but try to remember that he is a puppy, he’s still learning, and he won’t automatically understand what you’re saying or what you want from him. If you can be calm and consistent he’ll learn much quicker.

4

Thought I’d share my Josh Sauchak cosplay on here too because I’m so proud of how it turned out.

Josh means the world to me being Autistic myself so I knew my first ever cosplay just had to be him 💚

If you haven’t seen my post before you can find it here: http://thenixonparente.tumblr.com/post/153862374787/josh-sauchak-why-hes-so-important-to-me

So last night my roommates had a party at our house. It wasn’t anything huge, just ten people. But there was music and they were playing games and shouted when they got really excited, and it got pretty loud so eventually I had to go outside and breathe

And my dog, who’s known me literally less than a day, walks outside, sits down beside me, and just leans. This boy’s a pitbull, he’s not light. But he leaned just enough for the weight to be comfortable and grounding. And sure enough, I felt better. I could breathe. The fluttery panic in my chest slowly disappeared. But he didn’t move until I said I was okay to go inside, and when we did, he made sure to stay so close to me for the rest of the night that he was always touching my leg. 

This dog isn’t specially trained, and like I said, we only got him that day…but he already knows. He gets it. 

I know it’s been said a million times before, but I feel it needs repeating: this world doesn’t deserve something as wonderful as dogs. 

anonymous asked:

(1) I really feel like I could benefit from a service dog (I have autism and generalized anxiety disorder, so I often have panic/anxiety attacks and meltdowns). My dad thinks I'm faking my autism, that I'm over exaggerating my symptoms to get a dog. My dad is mentally abusive and doesn't respond to reasoning. I gave him the report from the psychologist who diagnosed me and he got super mad; he even threatened to kill the psychologist. My dad has been slowly getting worse, but I can't

(2) do anything about it because none of his abuse is physical. He’s gaslighted me all my life (telling me I was worthless, selfish, only cared about myself, cursing at me, etc.) and last summer I told a camp counselor about it. Again, nothing can be done as he isn’t doing anything illegal. I just don’t know what to do. My mom doesn’t want me arguing with him. I want to be free from him but there’s nothing I can do; CPS can’t either. I’m really just venting, but do you have any advice?

The main issue here is that you live in an abusive home. I wouldn’t even think about getting a service dog until you were in a safer position for both your and the dog’s sake. Please speak to a trusted adult (friend’s parent, teacher, guidance counselor, or your psychologist who could get you set up with a social worker). You need to be in a safe place before you introduce another living thing into the situation. 

I wish you the best of luck.

CHelsea