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Options for low-income families?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
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Calamity- Jane

1139619
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 12:52pm PST 
While not looking for a service dog right now, I'm starting to think about bringing it up with my psychiatrist. I'm trying to get as much information about PSDs as I can, but I also have a concern. It seems like most programs cost into the thousands, and we simply don't have that much money. What are some options for people who, like me, come from low-income backgrounds?
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 3:41pm PST 
While many programs can cost into the thousands if you go with a non profit program they often have people to help you with fund raising efforts to make up any that you can not from your community. Ultimately in the long term programs can actually be the cheaper option compared to owner training your own service dog which has a lot of risk involved. Unfortunately there are very few programs who offer Psychiatric service dogs to non veterans, and only one that I really recommend. If you'd like you can pm me and I can give you details as to the program I do recommend.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 6:14pm PST 
This is how I did I had a long search for my own dog I had planned to train myself. Then when I found her I asked the person that I pay $150 the cost of a shelter dog. I also found programs that help with families to feed their pets when needed. (some food cupboards also do this)
I bought some training books, also I got some advice form some training for problem bad habits.
I had a lot of my own exspeariance in training dogs too. I was quoted a price of a program with in my state that was over $7,000. witch they suplyed the dog. I found training Sadie was a cheeper deal for me.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 4:57pm PST 
I found a program that agreed to allow me to make payments over the course of one year. I asked local churches to donate money to help cover the cost, and also hit up all my friends and family for donations.

owner training is not cheaper most of the time than a dog from a good program, because unless someone has extensive experience training dogs, they probable won't be able to do all the training themselves and will have to pay a trainer to assist them. I looked into owner training and in my area professional trainers charge about $50 an hour, so that would add up fast. Then there is the fact that unless you're very lucky, the chances of even picking out a dog that would make a good service dog are not that great, so there is a good likelihood of the first few dogs you select washing out. Then you'd have to rehome them and start all over.
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Calamity- Jane

1139619
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 7:36pm PST 
Thanks guys. I need a program dog, because I don't have confidence in my abilities as a trainer and definitely would need the help of a trainer.

Well, I have run into a roadblock with my parents. My mom is okay, though she doesn't know much about PSDs and says that people and machines can do all of the tasks that would help me (wake me up, buffering crowds, help find lost keys/cellphone, deep pressure therapy, remind me to take my meds, etc.). My dad is the big problem. He doesn't think it would do any good whatsoever, that I'm becoming too dependent on the dogs, and he thinks that the best way to deal with my problems is to hospitalize me. I don't know, I'll describe my situation as honestly and clearly as I can, and see what y'all think.

At home is where the main problems are. I get majorly depressed every day, especially since I dont' have a job or school yet to keep my mind occupied; I'm looking, but it's been difficult with my social anxiety. Though, when I was in school, I was worse off than I am now, so I don't know if it will actually help or not. I believe I have mild agoraphobia, probably related to the social anxiety, since some days I really cannot leave the house, but most days I seem to be okay. When I do leave home, I have constant mild anxiety that sometimes peaks to the point where I lose control and become lost in myself, or I have to leave suddenly because of it. Like today, I went to petsmart and collapsed on the ground crying and cuddling Autumn, who was with me, because of a sudden, extreme bout of anxiety. This doesn't happen more than a few times a month, but it's very scary and embarrassing when it does happen. My social anxiety is the worst of it. I can't do crowds at all, I get very disoriented and the crowd pressing is often more than I can bear. I don't do well in a crisis at all. I can barely speak on the phone or in person (I know a service dog can't help with that, but I'm just trying to put some perspective on my disability).

As I said, I don't know if I could even qualify for a service dog. I don't even know what I'm doing, and my dad's threat to put me in a hospital has me really, really upset right now, so it's difficult for me to type out anything. For those who have hung in there with me, thanks.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 8:14pm PST 
I sent you a Paw Mail. hug
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Calamity- Jane

1139619
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 8:15am PST 
Thanks Happy. I sent an email.

For everyone else, I'm thinking about bringing this up with my psychiatrist. I'm very worried about doing so, though I can't think of a valid reason why I should be confused. How would I go about approaching this?
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 1:01pm PST 
So you live with your parents? Are you 18 or older? Do you plan to live with them for a while? What about getting your own place? Then you wouldn't have to worry so much about what they think about you getting a dog.

As far as your mom's statement about people being able to do the things for you that a dog can do, that's kind of true. People could do most or all of the things for me that my service dog does. The problem is, I don't know any people that want to spend all day every day with me just to help me with those things. I have a roommate but he goes to work every day. He goes to sleep at night. At those times, no one is there but my dog to pick up things I drop or to bring me my medication if I have an anxiety attack. Is your mom offering to go everywhere with you every day to help you?

As far as your dad's statement about hospitalizing you, hospitals typically only admit people if they are at risk for hurting themselves or others. And they typically don't keep people in the hospital very long. Last time I was in the psych unit, I was only there for five days. When I came home, I still needed someone to give me my meds when I had an anxiety attack. I still needed help picking things up because I still had a herniated disk in my back. I'm guessing a few days in the hospital won't solve all your problems, right?

If you aren't able to do some things for yourself, who does your dad think you should depend on? Having a service dog could allow you to be more independent. Yes, you might depend on your dog for some things. That sounds better to me than depending on your parents every time you need to go somewhere, though.

Perhaps your dad just doesn't know enough about service dogs to understand how one might help you. Or maybe he will never think it's a good idea. If you get your own place to live, though, then you won't need his permission or approval.

I would definitely look for a program. I've been told, and now that I have a SD of my own I totally agree, that owner training a psych service dog is really hard. The thing is, when you are really anxious, you need your dog to stay calm and do his job. But if you were just starting to train him on what to do when you had an anxiety attack, and you got really anxious, that would be teaching him to get anxious when you have an anxiety attack. And how would you be able to stay calm enough to teach him what to do? I sure wouldn't. One of the reasons I need help during an anxiety attack is because I can't think clearly when I'm having one. So I needed a professional trainer to teach my dog what to do when I have an anxiety attack, because she could stay calm and focus on the dog, when I couldn't. Does that make sense?

If you think you might be interested in a program do, I would start looking now. It can take a while to find a program, and many have long waiting lists. That's too bad since it means it will take a while to get a dog from them, but it's good in the sense that it would give you time to raise the money. And most programs will help you with fundraising.
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Calamity- Jane

1139619
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 1:53pm PST 
I am 19, but I do still live with my parents. I had a lot of trouble getting back on my feet after high school ended, and I've been blessed that they are so supportive of me in other ways. We just have disagreements when it comes to my treatment. Anyways, I have no way of getting a place of my own right now, so I'm here to stay for at least another couple of years.

Currently, they do things like remind me to take my meds if I miss my alarm, bring them to me, wake me up in the mornings (I can have hypersomnia due to my depression), etc. I don't like being dependent on my parents to do these things. It puts more strain on them, since my mom is severely disabled and my dad sort of has to pick up the pieces, plus I simply want more independence. But, they don't see it that way. I don't know how they see it, but it's not the way that I do.

Neither of my parents know much about service dogs, and I'm afraid they won't listen if I try to educate them. The subject just annoys them. I guess I could try, but it's going to take a lot of courage on my part...

I am looking at programs and fundraising ideas/scholarships/etc. I certainly do not want to owner train my dog, as I have very little confidence in my abilities.

And, just one last thing to add, I did talk to my mom about it more in depth, and while she's not at all thrilled with the idea, she agreed to talk to my dad more about it if my therapist and psychiatrist believe it to be a good idea.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 6:20pm PST 
Perhaps if your doctor and therapist agree a service dog might be helpful for you, your parents might listen to them more. They might also be willing to listen to someone with a program, a professional that deals with service dogs all the time. Maybe they would be willing to talk to someone else that has a service dog. Maybe they would read some literature if you just left some lying around the house somewhere that they would see it. Since it will take some time to get a dog from a program, you have time to bring them around.

When you talk to your doctor and therapist, remember that they may not be very familiar with service dogs. My psychiatrist wasn't. He had to fill out a form for the program I got my dog from, stating that I was disabled and could benefit from a service dog. He had no clue what service dog might do for something with depression and PTSD. I had to explain it to him.

So if you go in and say "Do you think a service dog would help me?" your doctor might not know. He might be thinking of guide dogs or something and not know what a SD could do for something with anxiety. So I would say something like "I've been thinking that a service dog might help me. There are programs that train dogs to do things for people with anxiety disorders, like...." and explain a few of the things a dog could do for you. Once I explained to my doctor what my SD would do for me, he thought it was awesome.
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