Author Topic: I don't feel 'worthy' of an SD, but it has been recommended for me...  (Read 700 times)

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Offline Mtlmorton

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Next year I am going to start college. I have chronic migraines that often cause me to faint. The fainting is often made worse by physical activity and stress (I have blacked out during practices and tests at my high school). At home I have my parents, at school my teachers are alerted to my condition, and at practices there are often nurses present. I am scared to be alone in college, but I don't want to miss out on sports and campus life because of my 'disability. My doctor has brought up the topic of a service dog, but I almost feel like I don't fit the criteria. I feel like people might view me as someone who exaggerated a condition just to bring my dog with me to college. I wanted first to hear the opinions of true SD owners. Their opinions, your opinions, on the subject of service animals, is something I truly want to hear. I also am wondering if anyone has a similar case, and if having a service dog helped with their disability tremendously. Thank you all so much for taking your time to read my questions.

Offline JKmelda

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Re: I don't feel 'worthy' of an SD, but it has been recommended for me...
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 07:32:37 PM »
Hi and welcome! I'm also from CT, though I don't have a service dog.

I know a lot of people have the same sort of feelings of not being "worthy" or "disabled enough" for a service dog. From a technical standpoint, if your doctor feels you meet the legal definition of disability under the ADA, and there is something a dog could be trained to do that you can't, or have difficulty, doing because of your disability, then you fit the criteria. But I can relate to the feelings of doubt.

There are downsides to having a service dog for an invisible disability, and one of them is that you will probably run into people who aren't understanding and will think you are faking. For some people the downsides outweigh the benefits of a service dog, but for plenty of others the help of a service dog is worth the downsides.

I know that there a some people on the forum who have service dogs trained to help them with migraine, but it's not an area that I know much about.

Sorry I can't answer all your questions, hopefully others will chime in soon.

I've been very low on spoons lately, so I apologize if my posts/ replies are short and late in coming.

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Online OlgatheGSD

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Re: I don't feel 'worthy' of an SD, but it has been recommended for me...
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 09:57:40 PM »
Hello there! I want to start off by saying you are not alone! I have PTSD and drug resistant epilepsy. My doctors and mental health team all are in agreement that an SD for me is a great option on top of my treatment. At the same time though, I also share your feelings of not being worthy enough, and I don't like how people think I'm just taking my dog everywhere with me. Most are very kind but ignorant about service dogs and will make comments about how cool it is to bring my dog everywhere, or they will ask if I'm training her for someone else. I've also had run ins with people who weren't so kind about it, but you can tell they just are stuck in a closed minded opinion and the majority of the people you encounter are at least good natured so it makes up for it. It is also a pain when your dog is having a moment or a bad day. There are times I leave Olga home for either her safety or I don't necessarily need to have her there, like in a restaurant with my partner. There are times where she literally does nothing but have really good manners. But, the important part with disabilities is recognizing you are still disabled even on a good day. A disability doesn't make you less deserving of a happy life.

In my opinion, as long as you qualify per ADA, you follow the laws regarding service dogs, and a dog trained specifically to help you will actually improve your quality of life, then yes a million times to having an SD. I certainly don't NEED a service dog, but she does make it possible for me to enjoy leaving my house, to have less stress overall, and I gain a sense of independence with her by my side. I personally don't have any experience with a migraine dog, but I know it's possible to train them to detect the migraines so you can take meds at the right time and they are quite helpful. And the cool part about medical alert dog is you don't need a large breed like you do for mobility assistance, which makes taking your SD to class significantly easier, as well as travel and in places they need to tuck. I'm not sure a medical alert would be great at a sports event if you are going to be out in the court or field, since it defeats the purpose as it can't alert you from that far away, but that would be something to talk to your SD program or trainer about.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: I don't feel 'worthy' of an SD, but it has been recommended for me...
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 01:09:50 AM »
One is not more worthy than another if both meet the definition of disabled and can make use of tasks a service dog can be trained to assist with.
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