Please ask me questions about service dogs. I love dogs, and I love service dogs :3 It's cool whether you need one, think you might need one, or are just vaguely curious about them and their handlers. I love all the questions 💚 :serviceDog:

@dirething are the dogs okay? Can I get one if I'm often depressed to the point of being incapable of basic tasks?

@dragon do you mean are the dogs happy or something else by your first question?

To your second question, potentially yes! You need to go to a prescriber of medicine of some sort with that question. They need to decide if your depression counts as a disability in your case, and decide if a service dog is a good treatment option. You will probably have to know more about it than they do, for instance what tasks a dog could perform to treat your symptoms.

@dragon I'd be ecstatic to help you figure this out if you'd like with suggestions for tasks/work a dog could do, and any other questions you have :)

@dirething I mean if a dog can help me get our of bed in the morning and not stay in my room for 3 days without food that'd be oretry cool but I guess any creature could including a human

Are the dogs happy? They don't get hurt right?

@dragon they can learn to bother the heck out of you until you get up, and while this doesn't count as service dog work, they have needs like exercise, being fed, being groomed, going to the vet, being trained and socialized, etc. An emotional support dog might be a better fit, so that's something to look into. Doggies take a helluva lot of work, so while I don't want to discourage a treatment option, since they are alive, they take tons of work.

@dragon the dogs that don't wash love to work! Dogs domesticated themselves and love to be with us. My SD gets sad if she hasn't done public work in a few days. If a dog does any feats of strength, like counter balance or guiding, there is guidance to make sure the dog is sound so that they can do their work safely. Our dogs are our lifelines. They are our partners. They're the most precious thing in our life, and are treated as the wonderful amazing creatures they are

@dirething awww that's adorable!!! Thank you <3 I've looked into emotional support animals and I wanna try and adopt my dog from my moms house when my brother goes off to college

@dragon that's a great place to start, still need a prescription strictly but the dog needs no training since they aren't legally protected to go into public spaces. I started with an emotional support cat for my depression and anxiety, whom I still have and love though now they's our cute family pet :)

@dirething aww thanks so much!! I don't think my dog could do any kind of support he's a bastard but I love him so much :3

@dragon my cat is a mean jerk too lol They have sent us to urgent care for antibiotics more than once from bites. But they are so soft and cute and sometimes nice. Everything is very much in their terms

If I meet someone with a service dog, how should I behave towards the dog, as the dog is working, and I don't want to distract the dog in her/his concentration?

@Cedara completely ignore the doggo! They are the person's medical equipment. Even if you want to connect by way of shared experiences, don't run up to them to go on about "my cousin whatever" or "I have been in oxygen too" or "something something canes are great" etc. We, as the handlers, we get constant pointing and yelling and dead dog stories and "that dog has boots!" and so on.

@Cedara We are out doing things thanks to our dogs, we know we have them, and we just wanna get our groceries or enjoy an event or whatever. So best bet is to always literally ignore the dog, even if you have good intentions and are just trying to be social. And give us space, we can only make wide turns :p

@dirething oh good, then I did right - I noticed the dog but did not talk to it, and tried to ignore it, since it was working and I didn't wanna wreck its concentration.

@Cedara that's great! Some folks will grab at the dog and make kissy noses and just in general embarrass themselves and be a pain. I'm glad to know that people who haven't been told actually can default to being awesome!

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