Service Dog for P.T.S.D

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.


Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 1:43pm PST 
Hello, I am very new to this page I just have a few questions for all of you "In the Know"

I have been in 7 car accidents and have been struggling with nightmares, severe flashbacks, anxiety, trouble driving, trouble focusing, and controlling my nerves in public from my first accident when I was 8 years old to my most recent one when I was 20. I adopted my dog Athena from the pound last year, I thought I was just adopting a beautiful dog, then I discovered she was waking me up from nightmares and laying her head on my chest calming my heart down, she paws, licks, whines at me(anything to pull me out)when I am going through a flash back, she pulls at my arm when I get tense and shaky while driving, and when in public she is touching me at all times causing a calming sensation so I no longer drift off. I talked to my doctor about it and she thinks service dogs are a joke, so I can't a prescription for her officially. I don't know what to do, I don't want to take medication and I don't have the money to go to a therapist all the time. Is it so bad that I found something that works, That helps me through what I have been going through most of my life?

I don't have any support from people in my life about this so I turn to the community who seems to know smile I thank you in advanced for any information you can share with me.

All business no- play, I have a- job to do
Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 2:00pm PST 
I'm sorry to hear of your situation. My best suggestion would be to get with a therapist. I know that you said have trouble affording one, but many of them do take insurance as well as a sliding scale fee. I had trouble affording mine for a bit and was only about to go every other week for some time. A therapist especially someone who specializes with trauma would be the best route in my opinion. And after talking to them for awhile mention some of the things that your dog does for you that helps. I can relate about not wanting to do the meds route. In my opinion and experience they only mask a problem but don't actually solve it, one needs tools to help them get past and work with their issues. I hope that you are able to find a solution in the near future.
Samson- Service Dog, TD, CGC

More Loyal Every- Day
Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 6:27pm PST 
Hi Athena! Good to see you here, and I hope you can get the help you need.


Super Silver- Service Spoodle
Barked: Thu Jul 19, '12 4:13pm PST 
If you don't have the money for a therapist, honestly you likely don't have the money to get a trainer, but equipment, etc for your dog to be a service dog. Getting therapy and taking meds are MUCH easier solutions than getting a SD. Getting a SD is a HUGE life changer, with a lot of side effects, it is not for everyone.

I would recommend trying therapy for a while and maybe even meds to see if you're able to be helped. Then if therapy and meds aren't working, bring up the idea of a SD to your therapist and psychiatrist.

TD and CGC
Barked: Fri Jul 20, '12 10:16pm PST 
Your therapist may think SD are a joke, but many other health care professionals see value in them. This article mentions the use of SDs for Veterans with PTSD. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/us/04dogs.html?_r=1