Finding the right service dog

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.


Member Since
Barked: Wed Jun 11, '14 7:27am PST 
Okay, so this is my first post in a forum so sorry in advance.

I guess I'll start off by giving a little information about myself. I am person with multiple disabilities, physically and mentally. The first I'll talk about is my vision impairment.

I have Septo Optic Dysplasia, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and Horizontal Nystagmus. What does this mean? My optic nerves were underdeveloped since birth. This causes me to have poor vision with an acuity of 20/180 but it also gives me peripheral vision loss as well. I have 60° of vision as apposed to the normal 120°. I also have a blind spot directly in front of me. With my combined problems I am considered legally blind. I graduated from the Kentucky School for the Blind.

How my vision limits me:
I can't see things far away, close is fairly good.
I get eye fatigue very quickly (there is more strain on my smaller optic nerves)
My depth perception is not the best. I sometimes can't differentiate a change in elevation like stairs and stumble down them a lot.
If I drop something it takes me awhile to find what I dropped. Sometimes I don't even notice something falling if it happens in my peripheral. My keys have fallen out of my purse a couple times causing me to be locked out.

I also have anosmia, which means I can't smell. I can't tell if a food has rotted or milk has soured, I can't smell gas or anything. The loss in details in my vision makes it especially hard to recognize these things.

Now for my mental disabilities. I have Aspergers and general anxiety disorder. I am missing the Septum Pellucidum part of my brain and my Corpus Callosum is about half way there.

How this limits me:
I get anxiety when I go places and have to talk to people I don't know. I avoid going to checkouts with people because I'm afraid of the interaction, I go to the shelf checkouts.
It's hard for me to make eye contact with people, it just feels too weird.
I get anxiety attacks when left alone for too long or something worries me.
I tend to avoid going out. It makes me feel a little safer but then I still have that problem with being left alone.
I can be very emotional and take everything to heart. It doesn't take much for me to break down and cry.

Okay, so enough about me. Now to what I'm looking for. I've already been to a psychiatrist and he suggested I get a service dog. He didn't tell me how to get one or where to go, so I guess. I have to figure that out myself. The only question now is which kind? I'd like to train a multi-purpose service dog: a few things to help with my vision and a few things to help with my social anxiety.

Tasks I'd like the dog to be able to do:
Find objects: alert me to a dropped object, pick it up and bring it to me.
Find smells: alert me to rotten or soured foods
Interrupting behaviors: like stop me from crying when I'm alone by pawing.
Deep pressure therapy: put their weight on me when I have an anxiety attack and start shaking,
And maybe halting at stairs.

My living situation:
I am a college student that lives at the dorms. I do have a single room. I am a Junior.

I would like to take my dog to classes with me.

Do you have any suggestions of a breed that would be good at all the tasks and be okay with living in a dorm room?

Sorry if that was too much. I wanted to get out as much information to being with. And I don't like it when people question another persons disability. They know it better than you do, trust me.

I am looking to raise this dog myself since there aren't many programs that service my area. I will be consulting a professional trainer, which is actually my grandma. I have grown up with dogs all my life so I know how to take care of them.

Any advice or suggestions is deeply appreciated! Thanks!
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Thu Aug 7, '14 4:12pm PST 
Adopt a young dog form the shelter or a dog who has at least its basics down. That is my advice...