If you are part of the service dog world, or guide dog(it seems they still are separate from the rest) you have heard of owner training. Some consider it only teaching the dog yourself, and feel it is also going through a private trainer. The fact is the ADA the governing law on the subject in the united states gives people a right to. Other countries do as well, and others do not.
Anyone who has ever dealt with the guide dog programs it is a fairly short time period to get a guide if you are legally blind and have had O&M training. A way to shorten the time is apply to many programs, and not be picky on sex or breed. It can take as little as three months the norm is six; being picky or needing a doodle or poodle can extend the time period.
That sounds wonderful doesn’t it? People with other disabilities aren’t usually as lucky. Let me point out what a disability is ”something that effect one or more life activities. Such as seeing, hearing, thinking, walking, speaking and others”.
Some are lucky to find programs that will take a year and cost money, but allow them to fundraise these programs are rather rare. Others are free, but you have to wait between three to five years. Many are inbetween though.
Now two things that are closest to my heart. Autistic adults and civilians with PTSD because I know many with one or both, and I myself am both. In many cases it is near impossible to find to a good program willing to work with you, and if they do they might charge a arm and a leg. I cheer on the guide program who gives Autistic adults, and people with Sensory processing disorder(SPD) both sometimes can sometimes leave people functionally blind. I am one of them…
No I am not saying my VI is because of Autism I have CVI, but long before CVI in public I could, and would become functionally blind. O&M training if I would have gotten it back then would have been something I would have had to pay for, which I truly don’t understand, or why it isn’t even mentioned as something to help others like me, but that is for a later post.
Lets push the functionally blind ones aside. Others it effects their hearing, walking, and that they need a service dog to do a nonviolent block, or DPT (deep pressure therapy for those who don’t know), or lead them out of a crowd, give someone a card explain why they are nonverbal, and so many other wonderful things.
Because of many things most if not all know what PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder) is if not it is a condition caused by things like abuse, war, or any sort of violent or traumatic events. It is usually thought of with war and soldiers, but the fact is many civilians have it. In my case it is from the abuse I suffered as a child, and some as a adult.
Now what do all those things have to do with owner training a service dog, or hiring a private trainer? It actually has a lot to do with it. I myself considered owner training, and part of me still is (don’t tell some of the guide dog handlers). I wanted to pinch my pennies and hire a private trainer, and still feel the same way. It is what I suggest most owner if not all owner trainers to do even if it is just for another set of eyes.
Some don’t though, and while they(ones with the under trained dogs) make me want to bang my head against a bloody wall I don’t want the ones, who do it well to carry the bad ones dark cloud, or their cross.
Now don’t go saying you never dealt with the bad ones you have never had your guide attacked. I have a rather under trained one think it was a wonderful idea to go after my cane, and me. But I don’t believe we should send the baby out with the bath water because of it.
So when you see or don’t see a owner trainer don’t assume they are bad you don’t know the training their dog has, or doesn’t have. Nor do you know why they are owner training……….. Because one day that owner trainer might just be me, or someone you care about. Owner trainers are not the demon of the service dog world. They aren’t fakers, or only out in public to ”attack your certificated service dogs” there is not such bloody things.
Attack the Autistic children tether dogs that are tied to a kid, and nothing more than ESAs. Many of those owner trainers have invisible, and visible disabilities at least to me make blindness look like nothing.
Quote in meme that shows a long country road ”’Walk a mile in my shoes….. See what I see, Hear what I hear, Feel what I feel, Then maybe you’ll understand, Why I do what I do… till them don’t judge me.