You go through your life as normal as anyone else. You’re body starts getting these little aches and pains that you first start writing off as just a strain. Or you think to yourself, “I must have overdone it.” How about thinking you are just getting too old?
Then one day you are in the Doctor’s office and you hear the dreaded words “You can’t work anymore!” Maybe it’s time you think it’s time to apply for Social Security Disability.
What goes through your mind then is surreal. You do not know what to think. You are devastated. All this time you have done things you have always taken for granted. Walking upstairs, picking up a child, lifting a heavy object. Now you are lucky if you can get out of bed in the morning.
You find that someone to help you out of a recliner or up a flight of stairs is most helpful these days. Especially if it rains, or snows. But you live alone, your kids have all grown, or you are single. You are really finding it hard to have someone around to be there who could fit such a large demand.
This might be when the idea of a service animal, or service dog might come to your thoughts.
Service Animals are not pets and American Disabilities Act of 1990 protects such animals with these laws. This past year in 2010 an amendment was made to include Pychiatric Service Animals to be covered for example animals who provide assistance for PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression.
There are different types of Service Animals the most recognized is guide dogs. But they can also do Mobility/Balace, seizure alerting, medical alert, medicine reminding, hearing alert, psychiatric and many others.
The type of animals aren’t limited either. The ADA law recongnizes dogs and miniture horses, some have rats, monkeys, sugar gliders. The bond between animal and humans can be one that is quite amazing. This bond is one that is unmistakenly life giving and close.
People who have pets can understand the unconditional love their pets can give, but the love and closeness a Service Animal that gives their human is so much different. They work for their owner. Their owner depends on their lives if they aren’t there it will be a part of them missing. The Service Animal is a part of them, they strive to give independence and unconditional love daily 24/7 and never once bat an eye.
They are born to be a Service Animal. Special breeding, temperaments and training are what make them who they are. Not every animal have what it takes to be a Service Animal. They must have a deep desire to help their owner. A need to save their lives, to know what they need before they need it. A deep desire to please. They can not be distracted by cats, or a simple noise. But they also know how to be a pet as well.
How special it is for the Service Animal to be the eyes, ears, legs, nose, and love of their owner. And the appreciation of their owners go as deep as the dedication of the love of the Service Animal. So when you see a Service Animal in public, remember this is a working partnership. Please do not go up to pet these Animals without asking permission first. They are working and should not be distracted. But the person would probably love for you to ask questions about their Service Animals and help you understand something about Service Animals.