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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Support Dogs



Support Dogs

Any tips on what helps you including alternative medicine.

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Support Dogs

Postby Claire Spong » Sun May 08, 2011 4:52 pm

Hi
Has anyone else here heard of support dogs? I have a friend who spends a lot of time in a wheelchair or on crutches and she has a support dog. He is specially trained (like a guide dog is) to support her if she is out and unsteady on her feet and he can do all sorts of things around the house for her too like bring things to her, pick up the post and even empty the washing machine. He is also taught to sense her moods so if she is depressed he brings her the phone to encourage her to ring someone!

I was thinking that maybe a support dog would be good for people with fibro too! And sometimes they will train up your own dog but of course it is easier to train puppies. They have a website but I'm not sure of the address but if you Google support dogs I'm sure you'd find it.

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Re: Support Dogs

Postby Ldyalb » Sun May 08, 2011 6:14 pm

Wow, they sound amazing.

My grandfather is blind but doesn't like dogs so he doesn't have a guide dog. My Mum has always donated to the guide dogs charity though. My bf used to work with a man who used a guide dog in his last post at work - the dog was a massive hit with the whole office, her presence just cheered everyone up no end :)

I think it is so so clever how these dogs can be trained like that, absolutely amazing. It astounds me every day.
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Support Dogs

Postby Caz1980 » Sun May 08, 2011 10:42 pm

I had a Labrador who was trained as a support dog and she was fab. Helped me sooo much when I first got I'll. She also gave me the confidence to get out of the house in my electric wheels as I knew I was safe with her with me. She also helped fetch and carry things in the house and she could load the washing machine! Sadly she died too yea ago from brain hemorage and I just couldn't replace her so now I have 3 tiny dogs who keep me company. The training of a support dog is a big commitment but soo worth it for people who feel isolated and get little other help. X
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Re: Support Dogs

Postby Moonsmurf » Tue May 10, 2011 2:48 am

Hi Claire
I have lucky enough to work with Pets As Therapy, where two of my dogs and I volunteer to visit schools, hospitals, nurserys, homes etc to let the folks there interact with the dogs.
Although not exactly the same as the great work support dogs do. I know for sure that had I not have had my lil guy Mickey (Yorkie who thinks hes a human in a fur coat), when first diagnosed with 'essential tremor' and then fibro, I know I would not have gotten outta bed or wanted to. Mickey was thrust upon me, and I was left to cope. He was a puppy, who needed me to give him a schedule, feed him, let him out etc No matter how unwell I feel, he knows and comes to find me, or lets me know when its time to go.

I love that he can give back to the folks he visits. We mainly visit special needs kids, and each visit is different and each one has its own story. I have experiences that will lift me when I am in a black rut and memories that will inspire me. I watch this goofy little furball, find the one kid in the class who needs 'something', whether its a little confidence boost or just a cuddle, and a little bit of magic happens right there in front of my eyes. Some of the kids have spoken to Mickey about some horrendous things that they have endured, and he sits and he moves his big ole ears and listens without judging, sometimes this is the first time they have been able to vebalise it. Other times I have watched a child start of the visit terrified of Mickey and at the end of it, I'm watching them cuddle on the floor with him while the teachers frantically try and get pictures for the parents as evidence!! LOL

Any animal that offers unconditional love whether its your own or a visiting animal is a walking miracle

Lanie :dogrun1:
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Re: Support Dogs

Postby Claire Spong » Tue May 10, 2011 7:28 am

I agree Lanie. I love my cat and she always comes to sit on the bed with me if I am down or poorly. Pets are wonderful things and so intuitive!

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Re: Support Dogs

Postby denys » Tue May 10, 2011 10:34 am

I agree too lanie, what a wonderful thing you and Mickey do well done you :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers:
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Re: Support Dogs

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue May 10, 2011 11:39 am

I think that anything any dog (or any animal) does to help us is something very special indeed, from the dogs that sniff out bombs and people buried in the aftermath of a disaster to the guide dogs and assistance dogs that make the difference to so many people being able to lead a more independent life.

Visits from PAT dogs can make such a difference to people who are no longer able to have a pet of their own, I love the sound of your Mickey, Lanie, sounds like he has a huge, special character in a small furry body :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:


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Re: Support Dogs

Postby Moonsmurf » Wed May 11, 2011 1:15 am

Thanks everyone for your kind words. Mickey is a character for sure, he was any more laid back he'd be horizontal!!
He loves what he does, I just hold the end of the leash.

Lanie
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Re: Support Dogs

Postby stormrainbow » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:21 pm

I don't have a support dog but my partner bought me a puppy so I was not at home alone all day. The only time I am not anxious when out is when I take him for a walk ( short walks he is a mini dachshund). I went out last friday to the bank and ended up having a panic attack, all I wanted to do was get home to be with my dog( he has a way of just calming me down :-)
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