- alerting to sounds
- opening and closing doors
- pulling wheelchairs
- providing balance support
- turning lights on and off
- responding to changes in the physiological, mental, or emotional state of their human partners.
Time, care, and love
- food and water
- daily exercise
- veterinary care
- care for bodily functions (i.e., walking or grooming)
- affection and attention
- ongoing training
- Do you have the funds, time, and support to meet your service dog’s needs?
- Are you able to exercise a dog and clean up after him or her? Do you have a reliable person willing to do this when you can’t—come rain, snow, sleet, hail, summer heat, or an MS flare?
- Do you have or can you raise funds to pay for regular veterinary care, as well as food, accessories, and training aids? If funds are tight, have you researched potential financial resources? (Help may be available.)
- Will you be consistent in working with your service dog and use the training techniques you will learn? Can you be patient if a training routine is not going well, and figure out ways to turn it around?
- Are you willing to make a ten-year, or more, committment to a dog?
What do you want?
Where to start
- What is the application process?
- Is there an application fee?
- Will I be the animal’s legal owner?
- Do you follow up after placement? How and at what cost?
- What will the training process be? How long will it take? How much am I involved in the process?
- Do you offer custom training for my specific needs?
- Have you worked with people with MS before?
- Do you provide references from people who are using your assistance dogs?
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