Old 11-07-2010, 02:06 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Service dog

Dear ALS friends,
Did anyone get a service dog for help with ALS symptoms.
If yes at what stage do you think best for me to get such a dog.
I walk with a walker and thus far have ability to use my arms and hands.
Thanks,
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:42 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

A dog would be more burden than help. How do you scoop holding on to a walker?

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:24 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I am curious, what help do you think a dog would be?
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:04 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I too am curious.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:44 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

we have thought about one for help too. My husband has very limited use of his hands so the dog could be taught to pick stuff up for him and possibly open doors but probably would be more of a companion and company than anything.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:32 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I've heard that a service dog can be helpful as a set of hands as Amber suggests but I've no direct knowledge of them. Might be worth checking on a paraplegic forum where there are probably many more posters. I know that my dog Chewie would pick something up if I dropped it (as long as it was a bone; wouldn't get it back though). Dogs are great for restoring to a PALS feelings of happiness and contentment.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:39 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I thought that a service dog may help me with
the stages when I lose my ability to use my hands.
Maybe I should wait until I do lose this ability.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:18 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

If you want a service dog I would start looking right away. They usually need to be trained to perform specific behaviors and can do anything from bringing things, recognizing an emergency and calling 911, turning lights on or off, open doors both home and in stores, help with taking clothes off, etc, etc. They are trained a range of behaviors but if you need anything specific it takes some time for them to learn. You will need someone who will feed it and take it for walks/potty, groom it, etc. Don't wait because it does take time to get one.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:40 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I too can see many uses for a service dog: picking things up, light switches, etc etc. The best thing would be to contact the service dog group in your area (I'm not 100 percent sure, but it might be PAWS where you are) and talk with them... they can help you with whether or not a dog would be appropriate, what size dog, timing, etc.

I just did a quick Yahoo search and it looks like Florida has at least 3 groups training service dogs. I would inquire to all three, explain your circumstances, and then see which seems like the best fit.

Good luck in your search!

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:02 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

We have a house dog and he is becomming alot of work for me as we have a two story house and the stairs wear me out to let him in and out. He gets under my feet and I about trip over him. Just give it lots of thought. I like dogs but....
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:13 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

There is a big difference between a house dog and a service dog. Service dog can actually be trained to physically support you. On the other hand, you do have to have someone who will provide care to the dog, you are right about that. Also in rare cases there are so called alert dogs who can sense for example low insulin levels, upcoming seizures, and alert their owner to take medication. We will be training our puppy as a service dog. I did get a trainer though to help me with this, I can't do it on my own.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:38 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

Thanks for your replys. My husband will take care of the dog and play with him/her.
I have contacted an organization and have an application. I will proceed.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:31 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dog

I know of a womanwho is wheelchair bound with out use of her extremities - the dog is amazing. He does everything from open the fridge, turn on/off lights even responds to vent alerts (seems to me that alone could be a life saver!) He can hit a med alert button -it is amazing. If you don't have help they can be trained to use a pet door and you just hire a pooper-scooper company and some will help feed & water the dog.
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