This story is from ABC News and it’s titled service dogs provide a lifeline for people with disabilities. Obtaining a dog could be hard with cost ranging between 15,000 and 50,000.
Which is very true. The majority of that cost to, especially for non profits, also goes towards training other service dogs. Especially when you get into the 30K to 50K range which pays for staffing, it pays for feeding the dogs, housing the dogs, all those things combined to make that amount.
This article is by Emily Schutz and it was published in August 10th of 2022 so they go into talking about Robert Gaylong. He has a service dog named Callie that was trained by an organization and it’s crucial for him to have this dog to navigate public spaces and maintain his health. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, or otherwise known as TBI, and needed someone to help him after his wife died and that’s when he was able to find someone to help him and provide him with a mobility dog that was actually free of charge!
He said that that moment changed his life. He goes on to say “We’re a good fit because Callie is a great navigator. I have trouble with steps, I do have a cane that I use and most of the times when I fall it’s because I don’t have my cane but when I take Callie out. I do not need a cane now.”
The rescue lab mix leads him through the grocery store or supports him when he steps over a curb. She’s also allowed him to engage with the world in a way that he hasn’t been able to do in quite some time. A few months ago the pair attended the funeral of a veteran and Callie noticed family and friends walking to the casket to say their goodbyes. That’s when she stood up and led Gaylong so that he could do the same. He recalled the moment tearfully saying that this was when he put all of his trust in her. He wasn’t always certain he wanted a service dog having Callie around meant giving up any ability to exist in public spaces without being looked at or sometimes even being denied services.
That’s a pretty big problem in the world. The sheer lack of education that staff have whether you’re going to Walmart, whether you’re going to a restaurant, whether you’re going to anywhere even a place of work. I believe this article elaborates on it more so we’ll get to that in a little bit more detail.
That’s what happened to Candace Camper when she tried to enter a restaurant with her service dog Clea last year.
The general public has misconceptions about service dogs. What they do and what the law requires. Camper explained. The two questions that business owners are legally allowed to ask (which some people are scared to do) is number one is it a service dog? And number two what tasks are is the dog trained to perform?
Which I really like this article. This is why I picked it because it’s actually accurate information. I can remember just two years ago I’m looking through all these articles about service dogs and they were swapping out service dog and therapy dog all the time. They even threw in ESA and those are all three completely different things so to see you know ABC News to actually get their facts like, right, that’s really nice.
Typically I see those issues with more local stories, smaller town newspapers, so I’m just thankful that ABC was able to do their research and get it correct.
Camper also says sometimes businesses ask for service dog identification cards which is illegal under the ADA.
That’s also true you can go to the ADA website I believe it’s ADA.org and they do have an FAQ page just listed with all the facts and this is one of the things that they address. That service dogs do not need registration or identification cards. Anybody asking for that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Now there is to my knowledge one state that has an optional and that is a state of California does have a state registry and they can do that legally under the ADA. But they cannot require it. So just for your awareness.
But dealing with an uncertain public isn’t the only obstacle handlers face when their disability requires the assistance of a service dog. Obtaining a service dog in itself can be a challenging task which can be cost between 15 and $30,000 luckily there are nonprofits to support those who need them such as retired veteran Seth Eure.
She kind of picked me in 2019 so we do what’s called a bump where we run several dogs in front of the client to see which one fits best. The nonprofit provided years of training to Eure psychiatric service dog golden retriever.
And psychiatric service dogs, totally different than an emotional support animal, OK and the dogs name is Harris and all he had to do was try to fundraise. \
Fundraising by the way is also a fantastic thing to do when you don’t have the money I recall a friend of mine who actually got onto television, which is a great goal to have, and the remaining amount that they needed for the fundraiser for this dog was anonymously donated by mail with a check! So it’s definitely possible and you just have to get out there and see what you can do. There’s many different ways you can fundraise for a service dog.
All he had to do was try to fundraise beyond that the cost was covered now Eure works for the nonprofit as their program manager of client training teaching those in need how to work with a service dog.
That’s fantastic I love that service dog handlers say that the pair is meant to work as a team and having the support of that team can change a life. One of the best feelings is being able to help the next person that’s going through the process.
That is the end of the article. It’s fairly short but I really like it I mean there’s so much more content that if you are first starting to learn about service dogs and you just ran across this content of mine go check out my blog, my website is caitlinanimals.com, and you can also check out my YouTube channel which has some more articles and more details about service dogs.
One of the services I offer is specifically puppy raising and service dogs and I do puppy raise for people, I also coach for people. Now when it comes to starting your service dog journey if you have not already gotten your dog I am currently a very huge advocate of pushing a very specific test or evaluation called CARAT test and that is by Suzanne Clothier. It is currently the only “temperament test”. It’s really not temperament test it’s more of a conversation between the assessor and the dog saying OK who are you at your core as a dog? What is your personality like? What do you like to do? Where are you more avoidant and where are you more activated? Right. Do you like to sniff more or do you like to look at birds more? It’s really asking the dog what is it that you like to do? What reinforces you internally? There’s a lot of different things that can apply this to. I kind of relate it back to the Myers-Briggs personality test for people. If you guys haven’t heard of that you can do a quick Google search and do a Myers-Briggs test for on yourself for free. But it’s more complex than that and in order to actually give the test do you need to go through two years of learning and training in order to become a certified CARAT assessor and I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s so few in the US. Last I checked there’s only seven or eight total certified CARAT assessors in the US. It does take time, it does take money, it does take skill in order to just be able to give the test. If you go to other kind of temperament tests or the ones that people truly call temperament tests the most commonly used one is the Volhard test.
The persistence for a service dog test so one boop isn’t going to you know maybe help alert you to something you need a dog that can really stay persistent add a task for while in order to maybe snap you out of something right so maybe you’re disassociating maybe you have you know CPTSD maybe you have bipolar maybe something else is going on and you really need that constant alert so that your dogs helpful you can’t have a dog that’s impatient doing these tasks for you ’cause that number one it’s gonna be hard to train and frustrating and you already have a life that you need help with you don’t need additional problems of trying to train a very difficult dog on top of that right um so and then the second trait what was the second trait I believe social social ability both towards dogs and people is also very important right because he could have a dog that’s very activated by seeing people and while yes you can use prevention and you can train and you can teach an alternative behavior again that dog is going to be a lot more difficult to train to stay focused on you in public then say a dog that’s very neutral not afraid of people not activated by people but just like Oh yeah you’re there that’s cool I’m with my person right so those are things that other temperament tests lack and they also lack very specific training and they also lack actual data and percentages of success of how long those dogs stay in their jobs which according to the CARAT website they actually have percentages of success ’cause Suzanne has worked and currently is still working with some guide dog organizations and she has tracked percentage of the puppies, based on genetics and their personalities, and how long and how successful they have been in those jobs, just based on personality and her CARAT assessment tool as well.
So I hope you guys found that really helpful. I find that no one really heard of the CARAT test yet. I personally believe it’s up and coming and it’s a fantastic tool that people need to be utilizing more of. If you’re interested in learning more about the CARAT test or if there’s an assessor in your area feel free to email me or reach out to me over social media I’m everywhere I’m on tik tok, facebook, Instagram. Those are my big three that I’m on.