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My Journey To Get A Psd - Ptsd Service Dog


As some of you may know my sweet little pug Etta James passed away Sept 29, 2010. It's been a difficult mourning process for me and as the immobilizing grief started to ease I felt a deep loneliness. I thought about another dog, however I'm not at the point in my life where a puppy is a good solution for me nor is a shelter dog.

I thought a lot about my little Etta and began to realize I needed not just a pet but also a partner who could help me with my PTSD. Looking back over the years I could see how my Etta helped me do that from nightmares to strange noises she was always there to reassure me and just seemed to naturally learn when she needed to clown and when she needed to cuddle. I thought about how unlikely it would be to find another dog like that.

However, not wanting to give up I started researching breeds and came across information on service dogs for veterans with PTSD, I read a bunch and watched a lot of videos. I talked to my psychologist and to my psychiatrist about it, both agreed it would be good for me. I called the VA to find out about it, I looked on the internet, I had a bit of a hard time finding information on anything in my area.

With some luck I found a place in my area that does train PTSD service dogs, I called my PTSD clinic nurse manager and she had heard of the organization and they had a good reputation. So I took a deep breath and called them, they were very helpful and kind. I completed my application and mailed it in yesterday. So we will see what happens. My psychiatrist has to fax them a form confirming I have a diagnosis of PTSD and hopefully they will do that sooner rather than later. The application process takes time, I've completed the first step. If my application is accepted then they will schedule a home visit. When a dog is a available I must attend a two week training session which is to train me on how to work with the dog and to develop a bond between me and my new best friend.

If you want to read about the organization that I went through their website is here http://supportdogs.org/ If you want to watch some videos about PTSD dogs you can find some here http://ow.ly/4bz6n

I'll post back here to let you know whether my application is accepted or not. Wish me luck!

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Good Luck Tbird. I know it is near the 6 month mark since you lost your dear Etta James. People who are not pet lovers do not realize how these are really our family members. My dog goes all over with me except on a recent plane ride. I didn't want him to be in with the luggage in his crate/kennel. So he stayed at my daughters for a few days. He missed me as much as I did him too!! Had to call him on the phone so he could hear my voice. Ha ha.

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This part sounds great !

"Our Psychiatric Service Dogs act as a grounding mechanism for someone with PTSD and can provide a sense of security and empowerment for the individual."

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I had good luck with pets helping me deal with agoraphobia. For some reason first McKensie, than Sasha and now Sydney all Goldens help me travel and are constantly with me. None was trained as a Service dog but I have used them as my service dog.

Its been since 1991 and on my third dog with no problems so far. Not one time have the dogs been aggressive other than to bark at people who try to approach them when they are in the car. We have had other dogs but these were the ones that helped me.

The only real accommodations that I have had to make is that we don't go anywhere when its over 90 degrees. When we have traveled and stayed at motels we have checked about dogs.

Dogs are very social and mine love to go out with me and Mrs Pete. If they see me put on a coat they run to the garage.

Just watching TV with a dog can be relaxing.

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Sorry to hear about your pug. My (our) pug is 8 and her name is "Ruby". She likes to wrestle with our cat "Jasper". Wife works away from home each day. All 3 children gone away college/2-graduated. All day long and some nights, just Ruby and I. What great company. On my worst days dealing with depression-----I feel her warm head upon my knee. She likes what I eat, we watch the same movies, never argue, and nap together. My wife says, "Ruby is the other woman in my life". I am sure another pet will sooth your soul. Good luck with your decision.

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