A.D.H.D., ALL neurological Disorders and Disabilities, Alzheimer’s Service Dogs, Anxiety Service Dogs, ASPERGER’S SYNDROME, Autism, Autism Service Dog, BI-POLAR, Bi-Polar Service Dogs, Dementia Service Dogs, Depression Service Dogs, dog psychology, Dog Training, Dog Wish Service Dogs, EPILEPSY Service Dogs, Family Defense K9, Home Defense K9, Impulse control, MEDICALLY FRAGILE, neurological disability, O.C.D., Obedience Training, P.T.S.D., P.T.S.D. SERVICE DOGS, PDD.NOS Service Dogs, PSYCHIATRIC SERVICE DOGs, Service Dogs, SERVICE DOGS FOR CEREBRAL PALSY, Service Dogs for meltdowns, sleep Apnea, Tethering, Tethering Service Dogs
Dog Wish provides the very best for our clients! Read this note from Jamie Murphy:
“The reason for choosing Dog Wish is their record for training these type of special service dogs for dementia patients is exemplary. We have talked to the few places, in the country that works with Service Dementia Dogs and Bob and his team are the best. And yes, it does help that he specializes in German Shepherd Dogs, which is what my dad’s favorite dog. Bob has answered every question we have ‘thrown his way’ with professionalism and compassion.”
The very word “Care” Giver is despicably flawed. It shows our societies ignorance and complete misunderstanding or the needs and desires of someone who has been stricken with Dementia related disabilities and disorders.
Carole struggles with the effects of this… is now lives through the onslaught suffered by those with this disease. She is living in obscurity, alone, forgotten, scared, and fighting every day, to keep her cognizant brain functions active and responsive, so she can continue. It is a losing fight, and she fears the consequences in her own life. Upon applying for graduate school, entering the University of Missouri Graduate School she scored high enough on the Graduate Record Exam to automatically quality as a member of “MENSA.” MENSA welcomes people whose IQ is in the top 2% of the population. Testing now shows normal intelligence.
Carol’s understanding and insights into this world of disorder have opened my eyes to the world of those disabled with Dementia from the inside out. She has helped me understand from their point of view what life is like for someone going through what she suffers daily. Carol would love to have a full time companion who would work “with” her, sharing her journey in an understanding and “caring” fashion. However she hates the idea of becoming a recipient for someone who sees her as incapable, who is there to take “care” over and be responsible for her. Carol does not believe in Care Giving, but longs for a “CARE PARTNER” who will understand and respond to her needs as an equal. She is preserving her dignity as a human being, and struggling to stay capable to function and fulfill her own needs as long as she is capable. I call Carol every day I can and just talk with her, and our relationship fulfills a special need for someone who will just be there, and care.
A CARE PARTNER is someone who stops treating the individual as a recipient of their care, and starts treating them as person, letting them know that they acknowledge their capabilities to function and respond, and encouraging them to do so, as much as possible.
It is important for the affected person to understand that they are part of a family, and their functionality is needed and required. They need to know they belong in the home, and must work with everyone to keep their disability from controlling them. Working with children affected by Autism we have found that we can use the processes we teach for working with the trained Service Dog in the home environment, to teach the child to accept discipline, to communicate better, and to function as a normal part of the family, to a much greater extent, by observing, and helping work their dog, in their home. Owning their dog, and taking an active role in its training, is often extremely beneficial for each child/handler. Many children learn to use language, toilet training, and actively performing home chores as a result of working with their Dog Wish Service Dogs.
Dog Wish Psychiatric Service dogs are “CARE PARTNERS”:
• They have the ability to go where we can’t go, into the right brained world where the disordered person exists.
• They can smell every smell that person puts out
• They can feel what their brain projects
• The know when their handler is functioning mentally, and when they are experiencing an abnormal or concerning neurological happening, created by their brain, which is or can affect their brain’s and their body’s capabilities.
Psychologists and Doctors are wonderful and needed, but the problem is that they must work from the outside, and often the disabled person is not capable of using their knowledge to affect the changes needed by the patient. A Dog Wish trained and Certified Service Dog can detect and respond to changes producing states of being that a human being can’t. They can go inside, and even communicate with their handler on a level to which we are oblivious. Because of this ability they are a superior Care Partner, and can understand and work with their handler where they are, far better than we can.
ENERGETIC CONNECTORS AND SYNCRONIZATION
As we started training our dogs to find the soiled, used articles of clothing belonging to their potential handler, we experienced an amazing phenomenon. The Dogs not only learned to know and find the articles that smelled like their handlers, and learned to like and get excited when they smelled the articles, they connected with the energies contained in those articles, and thus the handlers, emotionally and energetically.
As we continued we found that the dogs would change behaviors as their actual handlers were going through similar experiences in their lives. No matter what the physical distance, the emotional connection was stronger. We had a pup in training who suddenly began to display a psychotic reaction to our conditioning. I called and checked on their handler, who seemed to be doing fine, but the behavior continued and finally began to balance out. When the family came to work with us, the daughter who we were training the dog for was fine, and they worked very well together. However, the mother related to us that at the same time dog began to experience the unusual behavior, she had experienced a traumatic accident where she had experienced a head concussion. Both the dog and her had been displaying the same behaviors, and since we documented it, she recognized it immediately.
Likewise, our clients consistently share with us stories where their dogs pick up on neurological occurrences that no one else was aware of, ie. Seizures, brain function abnormalities, etc., and alerted them to problems before they either occurred, or became critical.
One of the biggest results that comes as a by-product of being stricken by Dementia is that the affected person becomes dis-connected with who they are. One of the strongest concerns I face with family after family is that their loved one has become “lost”. They no longer know who they are. They not only don’t remember important episodes and events from their past, or who the important people in their life are; they don’t remember who THEY are. This year actress Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her portrayal of a woman stricken with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in the movie “Still Alice”, taken from the book written by Lisa Genova. Lisa gained much of her knowledge through an Alzheimer’s conversation group, led by my friend Carol Mulligan. Carol shared with me about several of the things they discussed and related to Lisa, and one of the most important was an understanding and fear they ALL had about becoming “lost”. It’s the thing they fear the most.
It is a personal thrill to help someone with Dementia re-connect with who they are through their Dog Wish Psychiatric Service Dog. We are training a dog right now for a man named Pete. According to his family Pete’s losing himself, he’s giving up, and they are fighting against Dementia to give him back his own personal identity and dignity. He’s an ex-marine, and when he comes for his dog we are going to take him to his old base, Camp Pendleton, and re-acquaint him with who he is. He’s a retired Marine. Pete has lived his life, raised his kids, served his country, been a great dad, and a great American. Now it’s time for us to give back to Pete, at a time when he needs us. His dog is going to be there to help him remember, each day, who HE is, and when he forgets, to do it for him. Whether it’s:
• Finding his way back home after a walk
• Finding the car after shopping
• Finding his wife when he gets lost
• Finding his wallet, his keys, and the bathroom.
• Finding his self-composure
• Find the reason for living
• Or Finding himself
His dog is going to be there as his special care partner, happy, loving, and letting Pete know he’s not alone, or forgotten, for a minute. His dog will be there, ever-watching, making sure he isn’t getting into harm’s way, and that he is protected and loved.
This week David Cameron, the Prime Minister of England, in a formal address to the Nation announced to those in Parliament (http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/2015/02/23/prime-ministers-dementia-challenge-2020/). That by 2020 England will be the most “Dementia Friendly” country in the world. He stated that this the primary concern of his office.
“…our vision is to create a society by 2020 where every person with dementia, and their carers and families, from all backgrounds, walks of life and in all parts of the country – people of different ages, gender, sexual orientation, ability or ethnicity for example, receive high quality, compassionate care from diagnosis through to end of life care. This applies to all care settings, whether home, hospital or care home…”
The most important thing we can do for those with Dementia related disabilities is to keep them at home, with family, and familiar surroundings, smells, and history. Preserving the dignity and integrity of their lives. Helping them to live without confusion in an environment that provides love, security, and longevity is essential for their well-being. A Dog Wish Psychiatric Service Dog can be, for many, the binding key that they need. This is why Dog Wish established our Dementia Service Dog program, and why we are so humbled to help so many.
For more information about our Dementia Dog program call Bob Taylor at 760-662-3767, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.