I just wanted to let everyone know a little bit about how service dogs work. I have found the majority of people do not know, and everyone thinks I am a trainer because I do not look sick. You do not need to look sick to require a service dog, you need to be disabled, but so many disabilities are not seen.
I had gotten my dog from the pound. The likelyhood of a dog from the pound passing as a service dog is not high, it is actually low, but it does happen. A service dog must pass a health test, behavior test, training, how they behave in the public and so on. A service dog can never be taught to alert you before you get ill, not all dog's know how. It is just something that happens, and only some can learn, or teach themselves. Service dog organizations use breeds that have been bred by previous service dogs that worked, and hope the new dog will alert you. All they teach the dog is how to help you if you are sick.
For instance a seizure dog is taught to lay you on your side after the seizure in case you vomit and can be taught to call 911, among other things. My dog is taught to "go get" my meds, a person by name, or anyone, things that will help with my life threatning allergy. When an attack comes on my blood pressure drops and I can not stand up or I will pass out, so I have a voice and hand signals to give if I can't breathe to go get my meds. My dog was not taught to alert me. Once we knew he knew we trained him, we taught him how to tell me.
I found out he knew by the fact he was terrified for me and would not leave me alone, then he grabbed my Epi-pen and gave it to me once, he had been watching what I do to recover. Next I had to hide all the Epi-pens so he would not get hurt. So one day when I had left and come back he got a box of Benadryl from my bedroom, shredded the box, took out the aluminum capletes and put them right at the front door for me to step on when I walked in. So it was clear he knew, his complete training took only two months tops.
Spirit may take a few years training as most dogs do. The way the small amount of dog know how to alert you has a lot to do with your strong bond, and the dog always at your side. When ever anyone has a metabulism change, seizure, diabetic sugar levels, migrains, Parkinsons, Fibromyalgia, almost anything, they can alert you. For me my main metabulism change is a blood pressure drop and then shock. So when my BP drops, even before I know my body puts off a very slight scent. Only some dogs can detect it, like cancer sniffing dogs, not all dogs can do it. So a lot of service dogs come about from watching the owners get sick, they observe this, then try and help them. That is where all the big rescue stories come from. So any metabolic change in your body puts off a small order and then the dog alerts you, my dog puts his paw on my leg.
I was real sick once. my sister came towatch me. She did not look like she felt good. I heard her keep asking Rusty what he wanted, I asked her what was wrong? He was pawing her. I asked her if she had a headache? She said she was just getting a horrible aura and horrible pain. I said take your meds now, he is alerting you. I also get migraines. The first time he alerted me for a migraine I was confused on what he was doing. Because he was using BOTH paws! I thought what are you trying to tell me? Then I got the headache, so now I understand.
I hope this helps everyone a little. If you see someone with a service dog it does not mean they are blind or deaf. They can have one of so many hidden disorders. About 99% of people approach me thinking I am training my dog. Even though his jacket says "I am working" it does not say he is training.
So many people are facinated by it, most people are fine if you ask if they have a working service dog. Some do not like to tell their disorder, I do not mind educating people.
I just wanted to educate, hope it was not too long!
I will include an attatchement of a news press story from a couple of years ago.