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Anyone using a service dog or an emotional support dog?


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I am hoping someone can offer advice on this. 

 

I am planning to invest time and money into a service dog.  I am planning to get one as a puppy, as this was recommended for service dogs to be the best for psychiatric type issues. 

 

I am excited to go forward, but also very nervous, due to the work and expense that this involves.  I hear it is worth it, even if the dog does not solve all my problems.  I am thinking that long term the worst case scenario is that I have a great doggie friend who unfortunately does not "fix" my current need for home care, my need to never be alone.

 

So anyone have any experience with this?  I am concerned that the withdrawal anxiety is just so overwhelming that it will not be helped by a dog.  I have lots of withdrawal symptoms which cause anxiety;it is sort of a chicken-egg thing because I think anxiety makes symptoms worse, etc.

 

Anyway, advice wanted!

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I started a thread on this subject a few months ago.  There were only a handful of responders.  A few did use a dog and felt it helped.  A few felt that having a dog would add to their anxiety since it would be one more thing to worry about.
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I think it is a sensational idea. I wish more than anything I had a dog for emotional support.  I live alone and have high anxiety. I am a renter and pets are not allowed.  The law may say a landlord can not discriminate, if they don't want you there they will find a way to get you out.  Noise is often used. However, I have a plan in place in just shy of two years to put a "tiny house" on someone's property out in the country. The first thing on my list is a emotional support dog.
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After we lost our beautiful golden November 23/15 I thought it was the end of the world. He was in 12 but starting to suffer. He was never trained to help emotionally but he did all his life. Finally after a lot of crying, grieving and downright loneliness for both me and my husband we got another little dog. He's now a year and a true scamp. He's also a cuddler, a mooch and loves to chew pretty much everything although that's improving. Do I have regrets. No. None even though puppyhood still is in him I absolutely love him. Never thought I'd love another dog but even though this one is a different breed and totally unlike our late dog I do love him and whether it's a cat, a dog, a bird it's worth every spec of my time. What I give to him he pays back with unconditional love in spades. That alone makes replacing the odd thing he's chewed so worth it. Those are things. Cold and stagnant. He's vibrant, warm, cuddly, cute, and on and on. I'm a true dog person though and I love our cat equally. I can't say enough about the companionship of an animal. If for no other reason other than you know you are loved each and everyday. Unconditionally. Sorry, rambling but this topic touches my heart. If you love animals they are worth every second of your time. And lol in our case a wonderful distraction even when you feel your very worst. I'd be lost without the little guy. B
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I know both sides of this coin.  I couldn't be alone so our dog was wonderful - plus I absolutely love dogs and loved ours.  I got permission to have him as a Service Dog despite the condo assn. restrictions.  This was no problem.  My pdoc wrote a letter.  The flip side was that taking care of him was overwhelming due to my depression and anxiety.  Of course it wasn't REALLY, it's just that everything was overwhelming and he was just one more thing to worry about.  I felt guilty if I didn't walk him, thought I was a bad "parent", worried about any illness, etc., etc., etc.  I guess it just boils down to how sick you are and what you can and can't handle.  I couldn't have done it without my husband around.  I hired a dog walker b/c I couldn't leave the house.  So...much love and much worry.  I was very ill back then.

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I needed my husband too Lynn in fairness plus we have a large yard where he runs his puppy legs off. Also, I too could not have walked him so that's a consideration for sure. My husband has a disability so has a pretty bad limp but can walk him as well. Just not too far. We take both the cat and dog in our motor home when we travel as well (that's my outing except for the doctor). The dog also goes with us to the doctor. Also 2 of our neighbours call at least twice a week to take him out for long walks. It's not necessary but they love him too. In a condo situation I'm not sure it could have worked. It would have been difficult with a pup. Also it's important to consider the financial cost. There's the regular vet visits and the unexpected. Vets make more money than people doctors. And if you do travel as in flying etc unlike us you need to board them. Expensive. So your words are wise. I think maybe when getting a dog, pretrained or not you can rest assured you'll love the dog and without doubt the dog will love you but maybe ask yourself if you can indeed do for the dog as much as the dog can do for you. I just love animals so much but if I couldn't give them the care and love they require I'd be better to wait until I was sure I could. Luckily with my husband's help this was the right thing but had I been on my own it would not have worked. I'd have waited. B
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I think it is a sensational idea. I wish more than anything I had a dog for emotional support.  I live alone and have high anxiety. I am a renter and pets are not allowed.  The law may say a landlord can not discriminate, if they don't want you there they will find a way to get you out.  Noise is often used. However, I have a plan in place in just shy of two years to put a "tiny house" on someone's property out in the country. The first thing on my list is a emotional support dog.

 

Or get your dog 'service' certified.  Then you have a real right to have that dog with you no matter where you live.

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That's true bad but unfortunately it's also true that a few barks even if for a valid reason gives a lot of power to landlords and condo board members. So certified or not they'll find a way to get you out if they want and when in withdrawal that really is something we don't need. It's really sad though. But there are people who truly do not like animals. I've never understood that but it's true. B  😡
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