Author Topic: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?  (Read 583 times)

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Offline Ariel

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2017, 11:50:09 PM »
I did not say getting a service dog is selfish. I did not say being disabled is a choice. One can choose to further disable themselves by opting against taking advantage of treatments or habits that are health promoting, but that's not what I called selfish. Teenagers ARE more selfish than adults. Yes I'm talking about myself as a teenager, and you Missy, and Moonsong, and all other teens on this forum and around the world. This is not meant as an insult. This is just an evidence based fact. Teenagers as a whole lack the full cognitive development to think through the full implications of things.

This is why you have teens who joy ride at high speeds and end up crashing, or jump off a bridge onto a thick sheet of ice thinking they'll be break through painlessly and swim in the icy lake. For this reason exactly with the exception of heinous crimes, it is why teenagers are tried in juvenile court. Because the courts don't deem them responsible enough to absorb an adult amount of time for a crime they were not fully cognitively able to process the consequences of. Teenagers lack the brain development to think about the future with the same capacity they will as adults with fully developed brains several years later. I was there, everyone who is on this forum who is not a teenager was there, and for all the teenagers who are currently still developing your prefrontal cortexes, you'll get there. Again, this is not meant condescendingly, it's just a biological stage of growth everyone who makes it to adulthood goes through.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/05/teenagers-are-hard-wired-to-be-selfish-say-scientists/
https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/teenage-brain.htm
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Offline Moonsong

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 12:00:45 AM »
It's one thing to say that teenagers aren't as proficient in thinking through consequences or looking ahead. It's another thing entirely to call them "inherently selfish". The word "inherently" literally means "in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way." To say that teens are inherently selfish is implying that they are essentially or characteristically selfish, not just that they are still cognitively developing.
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Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2017, 12:05:33 AM »
Maybe it's an age thing, but I agree with Ariel. You do not view the world and yourself the same as a teenager as you do an adult. As a teen I thought I was so wise and selfless. Looking back, I was just as much as a butt hole about some things as the next person, and how I handle situations is completely different. It is a medical fact that the reasoning and emotional parts of your brain don't fully develop until 22-23. There are no exceptions to this. It's not an insult and I don't think Ariel meant it to be. It's just a part of life that teenagers do not have the cognitive abilities of an adult.
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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2017, 12:09:53 AM »
Man it took me until at least 30 to even remotely get it together. I was a disaster as a teenager. 0/10 would not do again. Dunno about others but thankfully it seems reasonably normal except I took to long figuring it out.
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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2017, 12:11:12 AM »
I don't think that Ariel meant to be offensive. I think she meant that as a child human, teenagers are selfish thinkers and I think she was speaking from experience.

I was a selfish thinker. It doesn't mean I was selfish, but my thoughts gravitated around myself and my needs. I didn't grow out of that until I was seventeen or eighteen. I probably still haven't grown out of it.

Selfish thinking is not a character fault. It's a human trait exhibited in children and it's a survival mechanic. It doesn't mean the child is selfish, it just means the child's thoughts orient primarily around themselves and their needs which keeps them alive. Children are natural receivers, they begin to take on selflessness as they mature and become adult providers. If a toddler was altruistic and gave away all the food his mother gave him, he would starve. It's normal and natural for teens to be self-absorbed. It's not a bad thing.

Of course there will be the exception to the rule. There are always exceptions. But part of maturation is shifting from a self-focused view of the world to a community-focused view of the world. That generally happens in the late teenage years. Sometimes it happens earlier, sometimes later and sometimes not at all.

Ariel is more concise than me right now, but there's a reason we have legal drinking and smoking ages and ages of consent. Until that point MOST teens are going to be incapable of grasping the magnitude of their choices. It is not because it's safe to drink or smoke at that age, but that an individual is mature enough to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

I don't think anyone was trying to make personal attacks. But Ariel was making a statement about a human developmental stage of life, not about all the individuals currently at that stage here or off the forum.

ZF, I think by permanence Missy meant the fact that your disability will no longer be private and that people will be aware of your decisions, moreso than in medication. I think she was trying to say that a SD means more decisions, more exposure and more people remembering your decision to make your disability public.

A person who takes meds can stop meds when they no longer need them, and nobody will be the wiser if nobody was told. A person can get rid of a dog but people will remember seeing the dog and they'll remember wondering what the dog was for and what was "wrong" with the handler. You can't wash your hands of a SD like you can medication. Friends and members of the community will remember that you had a dog and that something was "wrong" with you.

I think you might've not been following because your disability is kind of hard to hide. You didn't really have a choice to "come out" as disabled. It's like coming out as queer. You can't just go back to the way things were. The public perception has been changed permanently.

(Though I guess you could always move to Amish country or a different state or something and be incognito again)

ETA: I read "inherently selfish" as an unavoidable aspect of the stage of development in which the individual is in. Puppies are inherently incapable of paying attention for a long time. Doesn't mean they will be forever, just that they are now and it's an attribute of their developmental stage.

It doesn't mean that you yourself are selfish inherently because you're a teenager. Your brain is inherently self-focused because it needs to be during this stage in development. Even if your brain is focused on yourself you can make the decision to be altruistic and generous.

I think we're all confusing the act of being selfish with the thought structure that is self-focused through adolescence. Two different things. Ariel means the second.



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Offline Ariel

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 12:20:44 AM »
Thank you Michelle for expanding a bit. I certainly was not meaning to be offensive, and I hope I'd made that as clear in previous posts as I am in this one. I say that, and I also will stand by my statement: Teenagers ARE inherently selfish. It is an inherent trait. It is an intrinsic, interwoven trait that accompanies the "half baked" teen brain. Teenagers don't see it because they're in that stage and live with it. I was like Michelle and I would have vehemently argued that I wasn't selfish and that I was some exception.

I'm not saying that you, Missy and Moonsong, or any other teenager is selfish for thinking they might be disabled and seeking further evaluation, for being disabled and seeking treatment, for wanting a service dog, for trying to go at it and train one because you believe it is in your best interest. None of that is selfish. Not every thought you both or any teen has is selfish. Many kind teenagers do kind things and do quite selfless things.

As an inherent trait to the way teenagers think about the world, they are all selfish because that's the developmental stage their brains are at in wiring themselves. "Not all teens" implies "there are exceptions" and has the undertone of "I'm not selfish" which is, in itself, a selfish thought process. It's a process of trying to make it clear that while other teens' brains are growing, despite yours also growing, you are exempt from the same dominating thought processes. Clearly, you are not. Again, this is not meant negatively or condescendingly, just factually.

Believe me, I was selfish in my teenage thinking also. I thought I'd be a fantastic SD handler and was a really talented trainer as a teen. I now think I would have been a terrible handler and am currently of intermediate training skill, and I'm obviously a lot more accomplished and studied than what I was as a teenager. I thought I knew more then than I know now. As I've gotten a matured brain I've realized how little I knew. I don't fault myself for inherently being selfish in thought as a teen as I don't fault any current or future teenager. It's just a developmental phase every adult has gone through and emerged out the other side from.

Just like the "terrible twos", all toddlers developmentally hit a stage of discovering independent language and motion and with that, explore the world. Some two year olds are more troublesome in that developmental phase than others, as like teens and how pervasive the selfishness of their thought processes are. Regardless, those terms are not without merit because those phases hit every single individual who passes through. I would be vehemently arguing with you both against my current words when I was a teenager. I've just grown older to the matured brain point of reflecting on what used to be. You'll both get there as will every other teenager in the world.
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Offline ZombieFodder

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2017, 12:22:19 AM »
Quote
A person who takes meds can stop meds when they no longer need them, and nobody will be the wiser if nobody was told. A person can get rid of a dog but people will remember seeing the dog and they'll remember wondering what the dog was for and what was "wrong" with the handler. You can't wash your hands of a SD like you can medication. Friends and members of the community will remember that you had a dog and that something was "wrong" with you.

Ok yes that is sort of what I was thinking in that a decision like using a working dog is memorable. The dog itself is not permanent, which is what I was really confused about as I thought that was what was literally meant at first.

Quote
I think you might've not been following because your disability is kind of hard to hide. You didn't really have a choice to "come out" as disabled. It's like coming out as queer. You can't just go back to the way things were. The public perception has been changed permanently.

Yes that may be it. I think a better way of saying it so I understand what the heck you guys mean would be that using a dog will cause people whom you will have a long term relationship with to remember you had a dog and therefore remember you have something wrong with you. This memory would be permanent even though the dog itself is not.

And yeah, I didn't get it so much because I can't really hide anything so didn't think of it like that.
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Offline Moonsong

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2017, 12:33:06 AM »
To me, "inherently selfish" implies that I am ALWAYS and CONSTANTLY selfish. That all I can ever think about is how something affects ME and nobody else. To me, that implies that selfishness permeates every aspect of my being. And that's what I take insult to.

There's more to me than that kind of thinking. I don't doubt that it's something that teenagers go through, but to say that it's "inherent" is what I take issue with. I care deeply for others and I CONSTANTLY am afraid of doing or saying things that cause others issues. I spend SO MUCH of my time thinking through and worrying over others and how I will affect others because I can't stand to cause trouble, to hurt, to offend, to stir up drama, or to upset.

If that's your definition of selfish, then clearly we have different definitions.

When you say teens are "inherently selfish", I take that to mean that you think that all teens care about are themselves and nobody else, all of the time. Because, again , inherent means "permanent, essential, or characteristic."
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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2017, 12:56:59 AM »
Personally I think the entire human race is a lot of things, selfish being only one of them. Individuals will vary though, obviously. 
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Offline Ariel

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2017, 01:00:26 AM »
When you say teens are "inherently selfish", I take that to mean that you think that all teens care about are themselves and nobody else, all of the time. Because, again , inherent means "permanent, essential, or characteristic."

I have explained what it means. I'll say it again in less words if verbosity is muddling my explanation. Teenagers do not have fully developed prefrontal cortexes. This is the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and consequences. While the prefrontal cortex in a teenager is still immature, the part of the brain that is most well developed is the pleasure seeking part. This is the part of the brain that seeks pleasure/reward. Attention, enjoyment, adoration, accreditation. This is what a teenage brain is at the stage of wiring development to be interested in seeking. The teenage brain has that teenager at the first and forefront of thought processes.

This is not to say that teenagers are only selfish or don't care about anyone else or ever do anything selfless. Not only is that not true, but I did not say that. No amount of you not understanding what I'm saying turns my words into what you seem to think I'm saying. The teenage brain is at it's root, core, essence - inherently selfish. Having self-interests as a primary goal for the brain at the developmental stage it is at in teenagers does not mean every teenager goes out of their way to be selfish all the time or is intentionally selfish. Some are, but those are often choices or character traits of the person. Inherent selfishness is only developmental in presence, and leaves as the brain finishes wiring itself in the early to mid twenties. No teenager is exempt. No adult with a fully matured brain has been exempt from this process and the selfishness that is intrinsic to that phase of brain development and maturation.

This is not my opinion. This is fact, this is science. I hope I cleared things up a bit because yet again, I'm truly not trying to make my entirely broad and all encompassing regurgitation of evidence based fact feel like I'm targeting any one person on this forum or in the world. Moonsong, you can choose to take offense, but not only am I just speaking factually and not spouting my own opinion, I'm not saying this just about you. Yes, as a reality your brain is in a developmental state where your focus is inherently selfish, but I genuinely am not being mean or pointing a finger at you specifically, this is applicable to everyone who is, was, or ever will be a teenager. I would encourage anyone who thinks this is not fact but me just making a hateful and overgeneralized opinion to do some research, there's certainly no lack of studies, articles, and published research on the subject.
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Offline missythewriter

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2017, 07:36:45 AM »
 The reason I was offended, Ariel, is because you called attention to the fact that I should not be getting the help that I need through a service dog because of my age. I understand teenage statistics. I understand how things change. I get it. I did a research project, last semester, on the brain make up of a teenager versus an adult, and another on how technology affected this growth, and an essay on why the driving age should be elevated or this very reason. I specifically said, in my initial post, that I knew that exact fact.

I was offended because this turned from teenage PSD handlers, to why a physically disabled teenager--who has not disclosed the extent of her conditions--should not get a service dog. But you should not be the judge of that when you don't even know what I am struggling with.

I'll be honest. Calling attention to the fact of your opinion that I should wait on a decision that's been carefully made, carefully researched, carefully discussed, carefully planned, made me feel outed from a community I've been a part of, now, for months. The lack of development of a teenage brain has nothing to do with the fact of my wanting a service dog. It's not because I don't have most of what I will in my adult mind that I am seeking personal assistance for disabilities that, without an aid, like my mother who has to come to the grocery store with my every time I go, college would be torture.

Will I be a better handler at twenty? At twenty-seven? At thirty-two? Absolutely. Does that mean I shouldn't be a handler now? Well, I'll be a better writer at twenty, twenty-seven, and thirty-two than at sixteen. Does that mean I shouldn't still try to publish short stories in literary journals? Wouldn't reaching out to editors for publishing, getting rejected, and continuing to work hard every day help me grow more than just reading other people's published stories? Or writing occasionally, but not having a clear goal in mind to work toward?

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My goal is to have a service dog to alleviate the symptoms I face on a daily basis. If I "grow out" of my conditions in 8, 10, 12 years' time, enough to no longer warrant a service dog, my goal is to continue to train them for other disabled people.

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"Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain condition it affects millions of people in the United States. It's far more common in females than males and can start when kids are in their teen years or even younger, although it's most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50."


It's more common to get Fibromyalgia between the ages of 20 and 50, but I got it at age 13.

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"Some experts say that about a third of us make significant improvements, another third stay the same, and the remaining third see significant increases in their symptoms . . . The best we can do is experiment with treatments until we find a successful regimen and then stick to it."

I would also like to point out the distinction between the diagnosis I received, and Juvenile Fibromyalgia. My doctor specifically did not diagnose me with Juvenile Fibromyalgia because of other circumstances of my life, other issues I face, and because of her, through knowing my illness in almost the entirety I do from a daily experience of it, determined I fit the adult criteria far more than the youth one.

I understand your argument, Ariel. And maybe in six years I'll look back on this and think it was a "dumb teen moment" to debate this. Maybe I'll think it was a "dumb teen moment" to even join SDC in the first place. Who knows? But what won't be a "dumb teen moment" is the choice to train a service dog. It's been the discussion in my household, so if anything, it'd be a "dumb teen year." Besides, it's what I want to do for the rest of my life, and it's what I want to do now, and, if things continue like this, in the future, to find relief. Every situation is different, and you or anyone on or off this forum doesn't understand it like I do, like my family does, and like my doctors do. You have the advantage of experience, but I have the advantage of my experience.

My choice to get an SD is not a debate, and it's not up for deprecation. I don't want to validate my reasons anymore.

I am inherently teenager, but I'm also inherently ill.

Offline Ariel

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2017, 10:01:45 AM »
Missy, you wrote a lengthy statement validating your illness and reasoning for getting a service dog as a rebuttal to an argument I did not make. I did not say you should not be getting help from a service dog. I did not judge what you are dealing with. I did not say you haven't done an extensive amount of research. I did not say you would be a completely inept handler. I did not say you should lay back and pretend you are absolutely incapable of everything until you get older and have a more mature brain. I support you in doing what you need to do for your health, particularly reaching goals of yours - whatever those may be.

As someone who has been where you are developmentally dealing with lifelong conditions that were predicted to be forever disabling (and some still are, some are only episodically so) if I survived to adulthood in spite of them, I do have the experience to speak to how much can and DOES change. I can speak to my experience, but you are correct, I cannot speak to yours. If you decide to select a prospect and attempt to train a service dog now, at 16, I cannot speak to how successful you will be or how useful the dog will be for you if it even makes it out of the early training phases. I do not have a crystal ball, but even if I did I don't have the interest in trying to figure out what your success will be. I hope the best for you, but I'm really not spending time out of my life trying to absorb myself in yours.

From experience I can say you would be an anomaly if you were highly successful with a well trained and STABLE service dog the first go-round even with a trainer heavily hand-holding. Regardless, if you end up with a service dog and you become a handler during your teen years, I stand by my statement that you will be a better, more thoughtful handler more capable of thinking beyond yourself when your brain has matured to a stage where all these ridiculous hormones and teenage brain changes are settled. My encouragement for that is out of concern because I've seen over and over how isolating and difficult it can be for teenagers to even handle a service dog, and I'm not talking about being disabled AND having all the tumultuous teenage chemicals stirring about AND having to do school AND then at the end of the day devoting enough time consistently over two years time to successfully train a dog.

My disability prevented me as a teen from knowing what my day to day capacities would be. Even when I tried to plan and predict, I often fell short or completely off mark on meeting my goals due to the impact my disability had on my life. I could never plan for a month down the road, rarely a week, and a year was unheard of. Perhaps your disability is completely predictable and does not impact any of your capacities for doing additional stuff you'd like to do outside of things you need to be doing. I reiterate - I don't know you, but I know disabled teenagers, I know disabled teens with service dogs, and I intimately know how much can be affected by a disability as a teenager.

I gave a suggestion that you wait a few years before actually acquiring a SD until your brain matures because it will make you more likely to succeed and less likely to put out time, money, effort, and HOPE, only to be extremely likely to succeed like the many your age with similar circumstances I've seen before you. My experience personally and watching others led me to that suggestion, and because I care I voiced it. My thoughts to you specifically were made out of care and concern for your wellbeing and how it would affect your future, but that was the only suggestion I gave.

I can't speak to your disability or your life or what your level of predictable daily function is with your disabilities. I never was debating that I know you better than you because I don't and I didn't and will never claim to. Again, that single sentence statement of care for your benefit: take it or leave it. Clearly you're leaving it, and unfortunately along with leaving it are reading so far into what I've said as intended fact wrapped with kindness and care and have gone on to misinterpret not only that sentence but all the invisible vitriolic words you seem to be finding somewhere in my response that I never wrote. 

I'm sorry you got upset and felt the need to defend yourself against all the things I did not say. I would encourage you to reread my posts because I'm not targeting your circumstances. I'm not saying you are or are not in a different position than any other teenager interested in a service dog. I am not in a position to speak to that because I don't know. You say your situation is different and I can only trust you know what you are talking about because regarding you, I do not.

I am truly miffed that you seem to be taking offense not to the factual things I've actually said but to the meaning of the thoughts I've not said, and I hope you can see that I'm not trying to get after you or make hurtful statements specifically to you or to all disabled teens who are in a place of looking to get a service dog. I honestly don't mean this pejoratively... It makes for a far more productive discussion when you're not spending time getting heated and writing a long response to not-my-thoughts and we all can have an evidence based discussion about ALL teenagers and not just your specific offense at the misinterpretation of what I've in no way said and definitely don't think about you specifically or anyone else. I don't know you, I am not you, but I do genuinely as a caring person, hope that you do well and succeed with whatever tools it takes to get you there. I hope the same for not just you, but every teen both on and off the SDC forum.
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Offline ZombieFodder

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2017, 10:11:20 AM »
There are some schools out there that allow you to apply as a teenager. So if it is really something you are interested in you can sniff around and apply to a few and see what happens. Most have an age 18 cut off, but some will place younger on a case by case basis.

I can't remember what exactly you were looking for as I assumed this particular thread was over PSDs which I don't really have experience with, but I have a lot of experience with physical handicaps. I got my first dog at 18. Looking back I wish I hadn't, but then again I think everything I did was a huge mistake. I've known people who had dogs earlier than me though and it was fine for them.

I would discourage owner training without a ton of experience for sure, no matter what age, but if you are looking into programs that will make it easier for you.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2017, 10:20:36 AM »
I would discourage owner training without a ton of experience for sure, no matter what age, but if you are looking into programs that will make it easier for you.

This is good advice. The best way to get dog training experience is to work closely with experienced, respectable trainers and through experiential learning. Trial and error with dogs. With pet dogs it doesn't really matter if you screw up a little (or a lot) but having come at it from the OTing route, it's expensive and overall a poor choice for everyone who I've known who has done it the same to start with essentially no real experience and fail consistently with multiple SD prospects until you make enough mistakes to learn what not to do again to the point of actually succeeding. Just advice, not a judgment on anyone who opts for the same long, twisty route myself and others have taken that almost certainly destines them for multiple failures on the path to success (and possible financial ruin). 
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Offline missythewriter

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Re: General Curiosity- Teen Psychiatric Service Dog Handlers?
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2017, 11:40:20 AM »
I don't think I was responding to anything you didn't say. What I gathered from your posts was "Teenagers have under-developed brains," which I understand and responded to. "You should wait to get a service dog," which again, I responded to. "Things change, and you might not need a service dog later on," which I understand, and responded to.

ZF, Of course I'm going through an experienced, service dog-specific trainer for every step of the way. It's not a program, but it's a hand-held owner-training service dog trainer in my city. Of course I'm prepared for my first dog to wash out. I have the finances, the time, and the resources for one, two, even three washouts. I do not want to go through a program. I have no desire to go through a program. I have no need, either, to go through a program. I want to owner-train, and I'm prepared to.

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Again, that single sentence statement of care for your benefit: take it or leave it. Clearly you're leaving it, and unfortunately along with leaving it are reading so far into what I've said as intended fact wrapped with kindness and care and have gone on to misinterpret not only that sentence but all the invisible vitriolic words you seem to be finding somewhere in my response that I never wrote.

I read and responded to your words as I interpreted them. Maybe my interpretation was incorrect, but I didn't put words in your mouth. Miscommunication is a regular issue on this website. To me, it looked far more like discouragement than kind words of advice. Maybe you were trying to be kind when you wrote them, but I didn't read them as kindness. I read them as unwarranted advice. Not vitriolic. My post was defensive because I felt attacked, but not putting things in your mouth you didn't say and making you seem like an evil person. I've been very kind to you in your successes and cute moments with Jubi in the past, Ariel. And I felt invalidated and hurt by your words because of that. 

My biggest issue is that I wasn't looking for advice, and I was handed it, in my opinion forcefully, by several people in a row. The thread turned.

I don't have essentially no experience. I know I'm young, and more experience will come with age. But I'm not inexperienced with working dogs. Or pet dogs. Or service dogs. Or training.

I appreciate the advice I've been given on this forum. I recognize that this conversation isn't really going anywhere. I'd like to back out now. Feel free to respond if you'd like, but I don't want this anymore. It's becoming toxic rather than informative and explanatory, maybe not through intention, but through interpretation and resulting tension.

I would also appreciate if an admin could delete my posts and just remove me from this conversation in general.